Abstinence-only sex education doesn’t cause teens to abstain

April 17, 2007 | By | 4 Replies More

This long awaited report had been authorized by Congress in 1997, according to the Washington Post.  Here are the results:

A long-awaited national study has concluded that abstinence-only sex education, a cornerstone of the Bush administration’s social agenda, does not keep teenagers from having sex. Neither does it increase or decrease the likelihood that if they do have sex, they will use a condom.

The federal government spends $176 million a year on abstinence-only education, and millions more are spent every year in state and local matching grants.

The Post quoted a sex-ed expert,

“Comprehensive education means teaching about abstinence and a myriad of other topics,” said spokeswoman Martha Kempner. Among them, she said: “contraception, critical thinking, one’s own values and the values of your family and your religious community.

“Abstinence-only was an experiment and it failed.”

Nancy Keenan of Naral also weighed in on the results of the study:

“Independent studies continue to demonstrate that Bush’s abstinence-only approach is a failure.  Not only are they ineffective, the programs mislead our teens and censor teachers from giving students the truth about contraception.   Congress and this administration should support honest, age-appropriate, and medically accurate sex education that promotes abstinence and provides young people with the information they need to protect themselves.  Honest sex education is the only approach that works.”


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Category: Education, Reproductive Rights, Sex

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Boelf says:

    Congress and this administration should support honest, age-appropriate, and medically accurate sex education that promotes abstinence

    I'm sorry but where does the government get off promoting anything? Such promotion is bound to come off as just more sermonizing.

    What young people need to know is what is involved medically and emotionally, that is ok to wait until your ready to deal with the responsibilities involved.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    As reported by NARAL today,

    The House Appropriations Committee is considering an increase in funding for unproven, risky "abstinence-only" programs. This indefensible $27 million increase comes on the heels of a government funded report which proves that these programs do not work, contain medically inaccurate information, and have no positive effect on persuading teens to remain abstinent.


  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    Just all part of the Bush Administration pandering to the morons…er, religious extremists…er, Christian evangelicals…who elected him.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    The number of states refusing federal money for "abstinence-only" sex education programs jumped sharply in the past year as evidence mounted that the approach is ineffective.

    At least 14 states have either notified the federal government that they will no longer be requesting the funds or are not expected to apply, forgoing more than $15 million of the $50 million available, officials said.


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