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The Failure Of Abstinence Only Sexual Education

1145 words - 5 pages

Many parents often worry that their teens are engaging in unhealthy or dangerous behaviors, including reckless driving, drinking, drugs, and unprotected sex. For many parents, the only obvious solution is to try and hide the facts of sex from their children, in the hopes that the less they know about it, the less tempted they will feel to do it. Other parents make doomsday-esque statements about what will happen if their child participates in sexual behavior before marriage, in the hopes of scaring their teens into abstinence. Overall though, multiple surveys and studies have shown that abstinence-only sexual education is ineffective, misleading, and possibly even riskier than a comprehensive sex ed class would be (Alford par. 2). This form of sexual education can actually make teens more likely to contract a sexually-transmitted disease or get pregnant, and can have detrimental psychological effects on teen girls.

One of the biggest concerns that parents have when it comes to premarital sex is sexually-transmitted diseases, or STDs. While these diseases are a serious issue, they are also preventable through the use of condoms. However, a lot of ultraconservative abstinence-only programs spread lies and falsehoods that imply that condoms work less often than they actually do (Alford par 5). This can lead to teens feeling that condoms are unnecessary, and the stigma that surrounds them in conservative households can even make it impossible for a teenager to get them. But when it has been estimated that almost half of all new sexually-transmitted infections, or STIs have occurred in sexually active people under the age of 25 (Alford par 19) it becomes apparent that teens and young adults really need more education on what STDs and STI’s are, how to recognize them, and how to prevent them. Comprehensive sex ed programs would also make sure that teens know how to use condoms, which is a huge factor in whether or not the condom works. If it is on wrong or used inconsistently, it’s less likely to prevent venereal disease than if it is put on properly and used every single time a couple engages in sexual intercourse. To downplay the effectiveness of condoms is foolish, because teens who decide to have sex despite their abstinence-only sex ed program at school may decide that condoms are too expensive or too uncomfortable to make it worth using, because they are not aware of just how effective condoms really are ("The Truth About Abstinence-Only Programs." par 13).

Another big fear that parents have for their teens is that their daughter will end up pregnant or their son will get another girl pregnant. This is another scenario in which parents and teachers will use a lot of doomsday-esque statements, as shown in the popular 2004 movie Mean Girls, in which the extent of the high school’s sex ed class is “Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die! Don’t have sex in the missionary position, don’t have it standing up, just don’t do it, OK,...

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