Abstinence vs. Comprehensive Sex Education: How Should We Be Protecting Our Teenagers?

Since this is research week, I found some related to story I talked about last week with a middle school in Maine offering birth control to students.  Sex education is something that doesn’t get a lot of time spent on, but it may be one of the more important aspects of health education.  This can be approach from a couple of diffferent angles with the one President Bush spent $141 million dollars to see happen known as abstinence-only education.  With this approach, students are told not to have sex to avoid the problems that may come from it.  However, the other approach called a comprehensive sex education allows students to learn about everything from sexually transmitted diseases to pregnancies to contraceptives.  The problem though is parents do not feel comfortable with students learning about contraceptives because they are afraid their children may want to have sex more.  But, according to the study, that is not the case.  The results showed that teens who received a comprehensive sex education delayed the initiation of sex, reduced the frequency of sex and the number of sexual partners, and increased use of condoms and contraceptives.  A comprehensive sex education program doesn’t through away the notion of abstinence, but instead combines it with the other important information teenagers should know about.  Using a abstinence only sex education program I think increases their curiosity and through their experimentation with may result some unforeseen consequences that could complicate their young lives.  With 40 out of 1,000 girls age 15-19 becoming pregnant, I think it is best to try and protect them with a proper education.

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