Providing young people with the skills and tools to make healthy decisions about sex and relationships is far more effective than denying them information and simply telling them not to have sex.
If we want young people to take personal responsibility for their health and well being, we need to give them complete and accurate sexual health education that includes – rather than excludes – information about condoms and birth control. We want young people to live healthy lives and make healthy decisions. But, we have got to provide them with the tools.
We cannot ignore realities: 70 percent of young people will have sex by the age of 19; 95 percent of people will have sex before they are married; most people now wait until well into their 20’s to get married; and same-sex couples still cannot legally marry in most states in the country. Abstinence-only-until marriage programs are unethical, harmful, and stigmatizing. Young people deserve better.
Evaluations and Reports on Abstinence-Only Programs
Repeated evaluations of abstinence-only programs have repeatedly found that these programs not only spread myths and bias, but are ineffective.