The federal government has invested nearly $620 million in unproven abstinence-only sexual education programs. On Dec. 1 Rep. Henry Waxman of California released a report concerning these programs.
Specifically, the report found that many teens participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs have been taught that abortion can lead to suicide and that touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy."
In addition, no sound study exists that shows abstinence-only programs have ever had any long-term beneficial impact on young people's sexual behavior. Research has shown that young people who take virginity pledges, a central part of many abstinence-only programs, are 30 percent less likely to use contraception when they do become sexually active.
In contrast, comprehensive education programs have been found to be effective in delaying the onset of sexual intercourse, reducing the number of sexual partners and increasing the use of contraception and condoms among teens.
Abstinence-only programs promote inaccurate, negative and potentially harmful messages to our nation's youth. Students deserve better than this. They deserve comprehensive sexuality education that provides unbiased, accurate information about sexuality.
Speech Communication Major