Essay on The Failure of Abstinence-Only Programs

1248 Words Nov 30th, 2014 5 Pages
The Failure of Abstinence-Only Programs Sex education is important, but many students finish sex education classes with a distorted view of sexuality and without a good understanding of contraception and safe-sex practices. Instead, children only learn that they should not have sex until they are married. Abstinence-only programs in public schools have become popular because of a law giving millions of dollars to schools that teach the programs. These programs have the good intention of persuading young people to wait until marriage before having sex, but abstinence-only programs are not achieving this goal and are flawed by the distorted and biased perspective that they promote. In 1996, the United States government …show more content…
They offer abstinence-only programs with encouraging titles such as "ReCapturing the Vision," "Teens in Control," and "My Choice, My Future!" They encourage students to sign virginity pledges vowing not to have sex until marriage, to proudly wear their "purity rings," and to carry their ATM ("abstinence till marriage") cards (Kelly). These programs encourage students to develop a strong sense of self and to avoid the negative consequences that might result from sexual activity, but there is a problem: abstinence-only programs do not work. Studies show that abstinence-only programs do not reduce sexual activity by young people. In 2007, the United States Department of Health and Human Services released a study of abstinence programs. This government-funded study involved more than 2000 students. The authors discovered that "findings from this study provide no evidence that abstinence programs implemented in upper elementary and middle schools are effective in reducing the rate of teen sexual activity.” The authors concluded that "findings indicate that youth in the [abstinence-only] programs were no more likely" than students not in the programs "to have abstained from sex" ("Impacts"). In addition, "among those who reported having had sex, they had similar numbers of sexual partners and had initiated sex at the same mean age" ("Impacts"). Apparently, students did not benefit from all of the effort and the millions

Related Documents