Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

Teach Safe Sex Instead of Just Preaching Abstinence

Did you know that teen pregnancy rates are the highest in states that require abstinence be the main topic in sex education classes? Yet, we still teach abstinence as the core curriculum in 37 states, 26 of those states require teachers to stress abstinence as much as possible. In 2007 a study showed that abstinence only programs had little to no impact on the rates of sexual abstinence. Additionally research has shown that abstinence only programs could actually be deterring contraceptive use among teens, thus increasing the risk of unintended pregnancy. That is a problem that needs to be addressed! Maybe if school’s would teach teens how to practice safe sex, a lot of teen pregnancies would be avoided.

For example, take the states with the highest and lowest teen pregnancy rates. Mississippi, the highest, does not require sex education in schools, but when it is taught, abstinence-only education is the state standard. New Mexico, which has the second highest teen birth rate, does not require sex ed and has no requirements on what should be included when it is taught. New Hampshire, on the other hand, with the lowest teen pregnancy rate requires comprehensive sex education in schools that includes abstinence and information about condoms and contraception. Pregnancy and birth are also significant contributors to high school dropout rates among girls. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age, whereas approximately 90% of women who do not give birth during adolescence graduate from high school.

We need to be teaching teens the importance of using condoms, practicing safe sex, and things like birth control. Not just preaching abstinence at them. Let’s be honest, teens are stubborn and like to rebel. So, no matter what, we’re going to have sex. Just teach us how to do so safely, and move on. Teach us how to talk to our parents about birth control, how to properly put on and remove a condom, and how to identify the different types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Not only has the sex-ed curriculum already failed so many people, it also doesn’t help any LGBTQ teens either. Even “comprehensive” sex education fails to specifically address the needs of LGTBQ youth. We are in desperate need for a new approach to teaching comprehensive sex-education that includes everyone.


Related Posts