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Anna Pederson Mrs. Draper English 1020 22 April 2010 Part Three, Final Among the many goals and reasons for teaching either comprehensive or abstinence-only sex education within a given school, two important goals that are shared by advocates of both are preventing unwanted pregnancies and hindering the spread and transmission of sexuallytransmitted diseases. Teachers attempt, using various methods and curriculum, to varying degrees of success, to educate students so that the students can make both wise and informed decisions. When a decision is made, whether at a country, county, or school-wide level, about what kind of sex education curriculum should be implemented, one of the deciding factors is the program’s effectiveness. Abstinence-only sex education teaches that abstinence should be maintained until marriage so that, if both partners have, in fact, remained abstinent, then there should be no chance of contracting an sexually-transmitted disease and, if a pregnancy occurs, it would be within the context of a marriage. However, according to the Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, written by Douglas Kirby, Ph.D, a senior research scientist with ETR Associates, “at present, there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence, or reduces the number of sexual partners” (Kirby, 17). According to this information, many students continue to engage in premarital sexual activities. However, students who have been taught abstinence-only sex education, if they choose

by using condoms or other forms of birth-control. or 4. this can become a choice faced by far too many young girls.7 million. they are the ones who will be having the child. a senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute. “just under half of teens have had sex: In 2002. Two in five also want more factual information on birth control.e. but also teaches many methods of prevention. writes that: Approximately half of students in grades 7-12 report needing more information about what to do in the event of rape or sexual assault. factual information on HIV/AIDS and other STDs. how to use and where to get birth control. for a teenager. male teens had had sex” (Abma. and how to talk with a partner about birth control and STDs. having to make the extremely difficult decision of whether or not to have and raise a child. among other things. according to Joyce C. Abma. while it also affects both parents. how to get tested for HIV and other STDs.. and how to handle pressure to . female teens had had sex and 46 percent. is of particular significance for girls because. especially considering that. if that is what they choose to do. a demographer for the National Center for Health Statistics. Without learning how to be sexually responsible. 47 percent. For those girls who have not had the opportunity to learn how they can take care of themselves and make decisions that are in the best interest their sexual health. the risk of pregnancy is far too high. including abstinence. i. an unwanted pregnancy can cause an untold amount of distress but. 1). it can mean. students yearn to be more informed on a great number of sexual health topics.6 million. may be uninformed or misinformed about how to prevent both unwanted pregnancies and the contraction of sexually-transmitted diseases. This is an issue that. Cynthia Dailard. Comprehensive sex education teaches not only what options a girl has once she has already learned that she is pregnant. Additionally.Pederson 2 to engage in sexual acts. At any age. in the end. or 4.

an assistant professor at the USF College of Public Health who specializes in adolescent health with a special focus on teen pregnancy. comprehensive sex education curriculums have a goal of providing students with consistent and medically-accurate information. Additionally. Generally. Perrin. Yet. a reduction in . relationships. to sexual health” (SIECUS). explains that comprehensive sex education actually raises the age when teenagers first have sex and increases the number of students who choose to remain abstinent which is contrary to one of the many arguments made in favor of abstinence-only sex education that “comprehensive sexuality education programs encourage sexual activity. many comprehensive curriculums also acknowledge and promote the 100% effectiveness of abstinence (Kirby. the teaching of comprehensive sex education has resulted in the desired of reduction of both teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases because students of comprehensive sex education are more prone to practicing safe sex. especially when federal funding is involved. (Dailard) Comprehensive sex education curriculums teach a broad scope of sexual health-related topics ranging from “human development.Pederson 3 have sex. 452). sexual behavior. In contrast. or that they are not covered in sufficient depth.15). at the same time. This can present a problem when being taught in public schools. due to the separation of church and state. which can be. Karen M. either through implicit acceptance of teen sexuality or by exposing teens to new sexual behaviors” (Perrin. personal skills. Yet a significant percentage report that these topics are not covered in their most recent sexuality education course. These results can have untold positive effects on society as a whole. but are not limited to. which can sometimes be based on a specific religion’s ideologies. abstinence-only sex education is often taught from a basis of morality.

2004.Pederson 4 the number of underage parents. Print. Joyce C. . National Center for Health Statistics. the alternative of abstinence. Hyattsville. and Childbearing. Works Cited Abma. Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity. of Health and Human Services. Contraceptive Use. Comprehensive sex education teaches about desirable practices. Dept. though good. has proven far less effective and the alternative of abstinence. Md. At present. fewer abortions. actually sought rather than avoided. has proven far less effective.: U.S. and fewer children being put up for adoption. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2002. though good.

"Abstinence-Only Education: How We Got Here and Where We're Douglas. Emerging Answers 2007: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.siecus. Vol.pdf>. Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the 20th Century. Jeffrey P.Pederson 5 Dailard. Guttmacher Institute.viewpage&pageid=521&grandparentID=477&parentID=514#Q5>. Kirby. Parents. Web. Cambridge. 11 Apr. Karen. Teachers and Teens. Web. Perrin. 2001. JSTOR.cfm? fuseaction=page. 2010. Rep. Web. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.D. <http://www. Cynthia. and Sharon B. Ph. 11 Apr. 2000. <www. 4. 2010. 2010. Mass: Harvard University Press. "SIECUS . The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy. Moran." Journal of Public Health Policy 3/4 24 (2003): 445-59.Sexuality Education Q & A." SIECUS. 1st ed. Sex Education: Politicians. DeJoy. 10 Apr. . 2010.thenationalcampaign. Web. 11 Apr.