Abstinence-only sex education has been an utter failure. Compared to traditional sex education, it actually increases teen pregnancies. It is time to end this profoundly stupid approach once and for all.
Want proof? The states that promote abstinence only education are doing the worst when it comes to teen pregnancy:
Mississippi continues to have the highest teen birth rate, with 55 births per 1,000 girls. New Hampshire has the lowest rate at just under 16 births per 1,000 girls...Mississippi does not require sex education in schools, but when it is taught, abstinence-only education is the state standard...New Hampshire, on the other hand, requires comprehensive sex education in schools that includes abstinence and information about condoms and contraception. (source)
This might seem shocking, except for the fact that pretty much every other piece of data out there shows the same thing:
Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that teenagers who received some type of comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. And in 2007, a federal report showed that abstinence-only programs had "no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence." (source)
In spite of this evidence, 37 states require sex education to include abstinence, with 26 of them requiring that it be stressed as the best method. Think of that: a majority of US states require the teaching of a method as "best" even though it has been shown to be inferiod.
It's a tough subject, we get that. And a lot of parents feel uncomfortable with their kids being taught sex ed at all. We get that too.
But this discomfort is leading to increased unwanted pregnancies, and to ruined lives. That is something we cannot accept.
Send a message today, and tell our elected officials that it is time to end this policy.