A Realistic Alternative To Abstinence-only

The WaPo reported the other day that at least 14 states have “either notified the federal government that they will no longer be requesting [sex edu

The WaPo reported the other day that at least 14 states have “either notified the federal government that they will no longer be requesting [sex education] funds or are not expected to apply,” because the Bush administration mandates abstinence-only lessons in public schools receiving the funding.

“We’re concerned about this,” said Stan Koutstaal of the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the program. “My greatest concern about states dropping out is that these are valuable services and programs. It’s the youths in these states who are missing out.”

Actually, that’s backwards. The youths are better off with actual sex-ed.

Teenagers who have had formal sex education are far more likely to put off having sex, contradicting earlier studies on the effectiveness of such programs, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

They found teenage boys who had sex education in school were 71 percent less likely to have intercourse before age 15, and teen girls who had sex education were 59 percent less likely to have sex before age 15.

Sex education also increased the likelihood that teen boys would use contraceptives the first time they had sex, according to the study by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Whaddaya know; giving young people reliable, accurate information about sexual health leads to safer, more responsible behavior. Maybe someone get pass word along to the Bush administration.


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