Abstinence Only Sex Education

2114 Words9 Pages
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 because abstinence only education is becoming more popular in the United States and more and more school districts are adopting it. Despite its popularity it has not been proven in any way to be effective in meeting its goals of reducing teen pregnancies and STDs. In fact, there is strong evidence and reasons for its ineffectiveness that should, when compared to the dearth of evidence showing any benefit, make it clear that this is not an effective approach. Not only is it ineffective however, it also results in harm to American teenagers and society by attempting to discourage sex by saying condoms are not safe, and this results in decreased contraception use and thus more STDs and pregnancies. And finally, when America and other first world countries with abstinence only curricula are compared to countries which have a more comprehensive methodology to teaching health, it is clear what is the more effective approach. Abstinence only curricula targeted at adolescents are both ineffective at meeting th... ... middle of paper ... ...ent Education: Ine." bepress Legal Series . N.p., 2004. Web. 25 Apr 2012. Santelli, John, Mary Ott, et al. "Abstinence and abstinence-only education: A review of U.S. policies and programs." Journal of Adolescent Health. 38 (2008): 72-81. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. . Slater, Jon. "Britain: sex education under fire." UNESCO courier. Jul 2000: 18. Web. 25 May. 2012. "The Abstinence-Only Delusion." New York Times 26 Apr 2007, n. pag. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. . Valk, Guus. "The Dutch Model." UNESCO courier. Jul 2000: 19. Web. 25 May. 2012.
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