Comprehensive Sex Education: Research and Results (2009)

This research takes a look at federal spending on abstinence programs that are proven ineffective.  Statistics that compare the effectiveness of abstinence only programs with comprehensive sex education programs show that the latter is greater and that abstinence programs have no viewable effect on teens reducing sexual activity and/or using safety measures if they do engage in such acts.

  • A congressionally mandated study of four popular abstinence-only programs by the Mathematica found that they were entirely ineffective.  Students who participated in the programs were no more likely to abstain from sex than other students.
  • Experts estimate that about one young person in the United States is infected with HIV every hour of every day.
  • Among youth participating in “virginity pledge” programs, researchers found that among sexually experienced youth, 88 % broke the pledge and had sex before marriage.  Further, among all participants, once pledgers began to have sex, they had more partners in a shorter period of time and were less likely to use contraception or condoms than were their non-pledging peers.

In addition to the information regarding the research done on abstinence programs, the article also includes information regarding the success and need for comprehensive sex education.  According to studies completed, as listed in the article, comprehensive sex education works to reduce teen sexual behavior and encourages using safety measures.

Beyond the results, the article also provides the statistics and information as to why it is so crucial for comprehensive sex education programs.

Citation:  Advocates for Youth (2009).  Comprehensive Sex Education:  Research and Results.

Link to article.

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