Abstinence-Only vs. Comprehensive Sex Education

2387 Words10 Pages
Since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began in the U.S. in the early 1980s the issue of sex education for American youth has had the attention of the nation. There are about 400,000 teen births every year in the U.S, with about 9 billion in associated public costs. STI contraction in general, as well as teen pregnancy, have put the subject even more so on the forefront of the nation’s leading issues. The approach and method for proper and effective sex education has been hotly debated. Some believe that teaching abstinence-only until marriage is the best method while others believe that a more comprehensive approach, which includes abstinence promotion as well as contraceptive information, is necessary. Abstinence-only program curriculums disregard medical ethics and scientific accuracy, and have been empirically proven to be ineffective; therefore, comprehensive sex education programs which are medically accurate, science-based and empirically proven should be the standard method of sex education for students/children in the U.S.

The primary argument which most advocates for abstinence only education have is that sex before marriage is immoral, not appropriate and that abstinence is the only completely effective method of preventing teen pregnancy and STI contraction. These advocates also emphasize that condoms are not a sure-fire way of preventing pregnancy and STI contraction. Many of the proponents for abstinence-only education believe that educating youth with information concerning sex and contraception will embolden them to become to begin or increase sexual activity. Such advocates accredit the lowering of teenage pregnancy to abstinence only education (Collins, Alagira, and Summers 12-13).

Some abstinence-only proponents also de...

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