Sunday, November 4, 2012

Researchers Find that Abstinence-Only Sex Education Does Not, In Fact, Promote Abstinence

Promoting condom sense.
It might just make more sense to teach kids how to use birth control
Photograph by Mario Tama/Getty Images
This one may come as a shock to those conservative types who believe that telling hormone-riddled teens to ‘just say no’ actually does anything to promote their sexual health:
Researchers at the University of Georgia have just published the first large-scale study of teen pregnancy rates by state in comparison with sex education curricula. The results demonstrate that rates of teen pregnancy are “significantly higher” in states that use “abstinence-only” models, while lower in those that provide a more comprehensive education, including birth control instruction and STI prevention alongside abstinence. Moreover, the significance of the relationship remained even when the researchers adjusted for potentially important factors like socioeconomic status, education level and ethnicity.
According to the press release, the study is only correlative (meaning that it does not show that abstinence education causes more pregnancies), but the implications for policy are readily apparent:
"This clearly shows that prescribed abstinence-only education in public schools does not lead to abstinent behavior," said David Hall, second author and assistant professor of genetics in the Franklin College. "It may even contribute to the high teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. compared to other industrialized countries."
The finding may seem odd in light of the fact that teen pregnancy rates have been on the decline in the U.S. for over a decade; however, the problem is that we still have the very high rates compared to other developed nations. If the goal is truly to reduce teenage pregnancies, comprehensive sex education is the way to go. On the other hand, if the goal is to shore-up a religious ideology while ignoring the numbers, states are welcome to continue. Just don’t be upset when MTV’s Teen Mom franchise comes to town.

Link : http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2011/12/01/researchers_find_that_abstinence_only_sex_education_does_not_in_fact_promote_abstinence.html


Comments:
Comments: I was researching articles about abstinence only education. Personally, I don't believe in the abstinence only education program. I do agree children should not involve in sexual activates until they are an adult, however, due to my past experiences as a child I know this rarely occurs. I believe the abstinence only programs are a parent’s way to avoid speaking about sex. Children in the new generation are defiantly being sexualized at an early age and their exposure to sexualized content is at an all time high if you compare the past generations views and morals. I found this article interesting because it actually provides background into the failure of the program as a whole. It shows the importance of educating the young children on their options and safety measures is the best course of action. Read it and let me know what you think!

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