Get involved in our campaigns and help ensure young people's health and rights. They usually censor information about contraception and condoms for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases STDs and unintended pregnancy. Abstinence-Centered Education— Another term normally used to mean abstinence-only programs. Comprehensive Sex Education teaches about abstinence as the best method for avoiding STDs and unintended pregnancy, but also teaches about condoms and contraception to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy and of infection with STDs, including HIV.
Research Confirms That Abstinence-Only Education Hurts Kids
Both abstinence and safe-sex philosophical interventions can reduce HIV risk behaviors, but safe-sex education appears to be more effective and longer-lasting with adolescents who have already had sex, according to a new study. The first randomized controlled trial comparing an abstinence intervention with a safer-sex intervention recruited African-American adolescents at three middle schools in low-income communities in Philadelphia. The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association , found that both approaches to reducing HIV exposure were effective, but that safer-sex interventions curbed unprotected sexual intercourse, while abstinence did not. Additionally, safer-sex education influenced behavior longer than abstinence education, and yet it did not lead to increased sexual intercourse - a concern commonly cited by those who oppose sex education in schools. A rigorous study with 12 months of follow-up, the trial provides the first hard comparative data for the two approaches, says Ralph DiClementi , PhD, chairman of the behavior sciences department at the Rollins School of Public Health for Emory University in Atlanta. However, [the study's] findings fail to identify a long-term advantage for the abstinence intervention relative to the control or safer-sex intervention. The adolescents had a median age of
Medical providers use this definition because oral, vaginal and anal sex have the greatest risk of STDs. Additionally, vaginal sex also carries the risk of unplanned pregnancy. There are many other sexual behaviors like kissing, touching and masturbation. For some people, being abstinent also includes these behaviors, and for some people it does not. Many teens choose to be abstinent for a variety of reasons including preventing an unplanned pregnancy and reducing the risk of getting an STD.
The United States ranks first among developed nations in rates of both teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. In an effort to reduce these rates, the U. However, a public controversy remains over whether this investment has been successful and whether these programs should be continued.