Does sex education lower pregnancy rates?
Here’s a question that politicians, parents, sex educators and the general public LOVE to debate: Does comprehensive sex (or abstinence only) education reduce teen pregnancy rates and is it really worth teaching?
Why are we so questioning about if teaching comprehensive sex education reduces unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases? Of course it does!
In fact, one study reported that comprehensive sex education reduces unwanted pregnancies by a whopping 60%!
In my opinion, abstinence education is NOT an alternative to comprehensive sex education. So while it’s a good idea to point out the dangers of sex and the benefits of waiting for the right relationship, it’s MUCH more important to teach kids about how to keep themselves healthy when they DO choose to become sexually active, at whatever age that is.
Furthermore, there have been numerous large studies on abstinence education and NONE of them has found it effective at reducing unwanted pregnancies or preventing sexually transmitted infections. For example, here’s one federally funded study—the bars in blue representing the students who received abstinence education, while the white bars are students who did not.
Additionally, the average age of a U.S. youth to first have sex is 17, while the average age people get married is 26! What more statistics are needed to prove that abstinence-only education does NOT work? Clearly, comprehensive sex education is only the way to go and it’s time for us to ante up the funding and teaching resources to include comprehensive sex education to EVERY student—thus saving our society billions of dollars spent on unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
Other Perspectives about Sex Education, Abstinence & Teen Pregnancy:
Abstinence Sex Education Does Not Reduce Teen Sexual Activity
Abstinence-only education is like telling kids not to eat candy because we don’t want to educate them about how to brush their teeth!