Types of sex education programs

Each state has its own mandate related to sexuality, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), and sexually transmitted infection education. Some don't have guidelines related to how sex ed is taught in schools. As of March 2008, 33 states have accepted federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs. Programs that have received any of the $1 billion that the federal government has allocated thus far must provide matching state dollars and follow strict guidelines. As stated in a report by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, AOUM programs often contain "false, misleading, or distorted information about sexual health." Additionally, a report by Mathmatica Policy Research Inc. -- on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- found no evidence that AOUM programs increase rates of teen sexual abstinence, among other findings.

Other states want students to have a comprehensive sexuality education that addresses abstinence, as well as contraception and many other topics. Research studies of comprehensive sexuality education programs show a delay in the initiation of sex, reduction of the number of sexual partners, and an increase in condom or contraceptive use.

There can also be local laws regarding these topics. So long as no AOUM funding has been accepted by a school, it can then make its own decisions about what to offer for sexuality education. Many sex ed programs fall somewhere in between AOUM and comprehensive. These programs can include medically accurate STI prevention and contraceptive information, and may be called abstinence-plus or abstinence-based. One national study by National Public Radio, The Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University's Kennedy School found only 15 percent of Americans believe that schools should only teach abstinence from sexual intercourse and should not provide information on how to obtain and use condoms and other contraception.

More Answers from Ian Kerner

Abstainence does not work well

2003-11-05 14:40:48 by FeloniousMonk

I'm all for personal responsibility, but putting all your eggs in one basket by insisting on a abstinence-only policy is foolhardy. Adults have a hard enough time practicing abstinence, imagine how unsuccessful it is for adolesents who lack fully developed faculties for self-control. Abstinence has a very poor track record in preventing teen pregnancies.
"The good news about teen pregnancy is that a new study shows three different types of programs are effective at reducing pregnancies. The bad news is that none of the programs that proved so successful taught only abstinence. Yet most federal dollars for sex education are reserved for programs that teach sexual abstinence alone


2012-05-06 06:33:21 by MrsLewis

With all due respect, I am so tired of questions like these. What a judgment to pass on people, no? Welfare doesn't include a condom package or other contraceptives. The programs don't even really offer any substantial family planning education.
And what about those men who "woo" a poor woman, get her pregnant, and leave? Many of these women on welfare are the products of single parent homes or dysfunctional families and they want love too. Sex is a uniquely free activity in the projects and often a poor woman's only way of negotiating her poverty.
So please, before we go judging, let's consider that every human being wants love and a good life

Don't miss this part

2009-01-07 19:37:01 by refix

Some experts have blamed the national increase on increased federal funding for abstinence-only health education that does not teach teens how to use condoms and other contraception. They said that would explain why teen birth rate increases have been detected across much of the country and not just in a few spots.
There is debate about that, however. Some conservative organizations have argued that contraceptive-focused sex education is still common, and that the new teen birth numbers reflect it is failing.
Other factors include the escalating cost of some types of birth control and their unavailability in some communities, said Stephanie Birch, who directs maternal and child health programs for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

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