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The Failure of Abstinence-Only Sexual Education

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Many parents often worry that their teens are engaging in unhealthy or dangerous behaviors, including reckless driving, drinking, drugs, and unprotected sex. For many parents, the only obvious solution is to try and hide the facts of sex from their children, in the hopes that the less they know about it, the less tempted they will feel to do it. Other parents make doomsday-esque statements about what will happen if their child participates in sexual behavior before marriage, in the hopes of scaring their teens into abstinence. Overall though, multiple surveys and studies have shown that abstinence-only sexual education is ineffective, misleading, and possibly even riskier than a comprehensive sex ed class would be (Alford par. 2). This form of sexual education can actually make teens more likely to contract a sexually-transmitted disease or get pregnant, and can have detrimental psychological effects on teen girls. One of the biggest concerns that parents have when it comes to premarital sex is sexually-transmitted diseases, or STDs. While these diseases are a serious issue, they are also preventable through the use of condoms. However, a lot of ultraconservative abstinence-only programs spread lies and falsehoods that imply that condoms work less often than they actually do (Alford par 5). This can lead to teens feeling that condoms are unnecessary, and the stigma that surrounds them in conservative households can even make it impossible for a teenager to get them. But when it has been estimated that almost half of all new sexually-transmitted infections, or STIs have occurred in sexually active people under the age of 25 (Alford par 19) it becomes apparent that teens and young adults really need more education on what STDs an... ... middle of paper ... ...xual education, in which information about condoms, birth control pills, and consent is distributed. Works Cited Alford, Sue. "Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs: Ineffective, Unethical, and Poor Public Health." Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs: Ineffective, Unethical, and Poor Public Health. Ed. Marilyn Keefe. Advocates For Youth, July 2007. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. Beadle, Amanda P. "Teen Pregnancies Highest In States With Abstinence-Only Policies."ThinkProgress RSS. N.p., 10 Apr. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. Kay, Julie F., and Ashley Jackson. Sex, Lies & Stereotypes. University of Southern California Global Health. University of Southern California, 2008. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. Mean Girls. Dir. Mark Waters. SNL Studios, 200. Film. "The Truth About Abstinence-Only Programs." The Truth About Abstinence-Only Programs. Advocates For Youth, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
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