Abstinence Only Sex Education Essays

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Where in the first world would one expect the teen pregnancy rate to be the highest? Surprisingly, it is the United States that has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any first world country, more than double the rate of twenty other first world countries and almost ten times greater than that of Switzerland. While some of the disparity can be attributed to factors such as income inequality, the presence of abstinence only education has a major impact on birth and STD rates in the United States in comparison to other countries with more comprehensive programs. It is clear that this difference in approaches has a significant effect, and the United States needs to act to ensure the health of its citizens. Urgent actions are necessary …show more content…
Federal funding has played a large role in this increase, as monetary incentives have been the driving force behind much of the change. To put it in numbers, the amount of federal dollars going to schools that adopted abstinence only programs almost tripled in the seven years between 1998 and 2005, increasing from 60 to 168 million dollars a year (Santelli, 75). And among United States school districts that changed their policies, twice as many chose to adopt a curriculum that more heavily focused on abstinence only until marriage as moved towards a more comprehensive program (Landry). This disturbing statistic shows how effective the religious right has been in pushing abstinence only programs in face of a dearth of evidence as to their effectiveness. This effectiveness is mainly due to intense lobbying funded by individuals and organizations on the far right. One man, Raymond Ruddy, has personally put 1.5 million dollars towards advocacy and lobbying for abstinence only programs (Eaton). While lobbying like this commonly happens on both sides of the aisle, in this case public opinion goes against what people like Raymond Ruddy say is necessary. According to a recent study, "Ninety-eight percent of parents say they want HIV/AIDS discussed in sex education classes; 85% want 'how to use condoms' discussed; 84% think sex education should cover 'how to use and where to get other birth control,' and 76% want
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