Sex Education in Schools: Abstinence-Only Programs
Teenage sexual activity is a major problem confronting the nation and has led to a rising incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and teenage pregnancy. The existence of HIV/AIDS has given a sense of urgency to the topic of sex education. The issue of sex education in schools especially in the formative years has been a subject of intense debate among parents, school officials, health scientists and religious authorities worldwide for a considerable period of time. The debate centers on comprehensive sex education versus abstinence-only sex education in school. Abstinence only sex education is a sex education model that focuses on the virtue of abstinence from sexual activities; therefore, encouraging sexual abstinence until marriage. This form of sexual education completely ignores all other elements of comprehensive sexual education like safe sex and reproductive health education issues like the use of contraceptives and birth control methods. Comprehensive sex teaching encourages promiscuous sexual activity as “a natural part of life.” Proponents of abstinence only education activists cite several reasons why this type of education is the best. It focuses on the upholding of moral virtues. They also claim that sex outside marriage hat is “encouraged” by the comprehensive sex education which as a result, has some emotional and physical downfall especially when done at a very young age. They blame the comprehensive sex education for failing to discourage premarital sex especially at this time when the HIV pandemic is busy devouring young people in various parts of the world (Deborah 2). In fairness, both programs were designed to decrease the incidence of STDs and teen pregnancy. However, only one program should be implemented in school; a program that emphasizes the importance of abstinence. Abstinence only program is the only approach that can contain the spread of HIV/AIDS, that instill moral values by discouraging fornication, that discourages the use of birth controls like condoms and that is widely accepted by parents.
Why is abstinence only sex education the best? In this era of HIV/AIDS, this is the best program that can be used to contain the spread of this menace (Deborah 5). In July 2005, a report from the Population Research Institute’s Weekly Briefing confirms the effectiveness of abstinence only program in combating AIDS in the Philippines:
And the bill mandating the two-child policy includes sex education for Filipino children, even though abstinence-based efforts in the Philippines have been remarkably effective in containing the spread of AIDS…. The Filipino abstinence-based approach…has kept the Philippines relatively free of HIV infection. The adult HIV infection rate was a mere 0.1% in 2001, though the Philippines have a low condom use rate. Even Arroyo [the governor] ascribed this success to “good morality.” Yet results...