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01/13/2013

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Healthy Teen Network | 509 2nd Street N.E. | Washington, D.C. | 20002 | Ph: (202) 547-8814 | Fax: (202) 547-8815 |www.HealthyTeenNetwork.org 
Comprehensive Sexuality Education
 Comprehensive sexuality education programs promote abstinence as the most effective way to prevent teen pregnancyand sexually transmitted infections (STI) while also teaching accurate and age appropriate information on healthyrelationships, contraception and STIs.
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Providing this information to adolescents allows them to make responsibledecisions about sexual activity.
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FAST FACTS 
Comprehensive sexuality education provides acomplete message. It is a developmentallyappropriate sexuality education that covers but isnot limited to educating people about anatomy,sexual behaviors, pregnancy prevention strategiesand gender roles.
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Comprehensive sexuality education is effective inproviding adolescents with information to makeresponsible choices concerning their sexual healthas well as building knowledge, attitude and skills.
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Comprehensive sexuality education has shown apositive impact on the behaviors of adolescents,including:
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An increase in the use of contraception
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A decrease in the onset of sexual activity
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A decrease in the number of sexual partners
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A decrease in the frequency of sexualactivity
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The characteristics of an effective sexualityprogram include:
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Focusing on abstaining from sexual activityand/or using a form of contraception
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Addressing social pressures to engage insexual activity as well as refusal skills
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Reducing sexual behaviors that lead tounintended pregnancy and STIs
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Involving the participants in a manner thatallows them to personalize the information
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Public opinion polls have shown that parents ofmiddle school and high school students support acomprehensive sexuality program.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics, AmericanCollege of Obstetricians & Gynecologists,American Medical Association, American PublicHealth Association, Institute of Medicine, andSociety for Adolescent Medicine, among others,support comprehensive sex education.
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Analysis of data from Youth Risk Behavior surveysfound that sexual activity among high school youthdeclined significantly from 1991 to 1997, prior tolarge-scale funding of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, but changed little from 1999 to2003 with federal funding of such programs.
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Public opinion polls of parents of middle schoolstudents and high school students show:
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93% and 91%, respectively, believe that it isvery important or somewhat important tohave sexuality education as part of theschool curriculum.
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72% and 65%, respectively, believe that thefederal government should fundcomprehensive sexuality educationprograms.
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They supported educating adolescents aboutcondom and contraception use.
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73% of adults and 56% of teens wish for moreinformation about both abstinence and birth controlor protection in schools.
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RESOURCES 
Healthy Teen Network:
www.healthyteennetwork.org 
SIECUS:
www.siecus.org 
Community Action Kit:
 www.communityactionkit.org 
Sex Ed Library:
 www.sexedlibrary.org 
Advocates for Youth:
www.advocatesforyouth.org 
 
Many Americans support a comprehensive sexuality education program that includes lessons on abstinence as well as contraception.

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