Study Finds That Comprehensive Sex Education Reduces Teen Pregnancy

Reproductive rights activists from the University of Washington found that adolescents who receive comprehensive sex education are significantly less likely to become pregnant than adolescents who receive abstinence-only-until-marriage or no formal sex education. The study, based on a national survey of 1,719 teens ages 15 to 19, is the first population-level evaluation of the effectiveness of both abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education programs. The results are very promising for comprehensive sex education.

According to Pamela Kohler, the study’s lead author, “It is not harmful to teach teens about birth control in addition to abstinence.”

This study joins a host of others that prove that abstinence-only does little and comprehensive sex education does much for our teens.

Questions Surround Goverment Funded Abstinence Program

Reporter Murray Waas’ article asks “why an organization that promotes reproductive health rights for teens received a federal grant of over a million dollars, twice what it had requested, despite the skepticism Department of Justice staffers had about the group and the fact that it refused to participate in a congressionally mandated study?”

The organization is “Best Friends,” and the congressionally mandated study they refused to participate in is presumably this one — the April 2007 study that presents clear evidence that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs don’t work.

Science Ideology

When it comes to family planning and reproductive choice, conservatives and progressives alike find agreement on a common objective: more pregnancies in the United States should be wanted, and far fewer should be unwanted.Wanted pregnancies result in better life opportunities for women, their children, and their families.

But when does an unwanted pregnancy become a barrier to opportunity? When reproductive health is politicized, and science takes a backseat to ideology. A recent study from the Guttmacher Institute describes just one result of such policies — an increase in unplanned pregnancies, with disproportionate negative consequences for low-income women, immigrant women, and women of color.

Cool in the Eyes of God

Abstinence-only-until-marriage education brought to you by the state Louisiana (and funded by your tax dollars):

“Tell your friend that abstaining from sex until entering a loving marriage will give her the freedom to achieve [sic] true self-esteem — to be, truly, ‘cool’ in God’s eyes as well as yours and mine.”

“After repenting, ask God to forgive you through Jesus Christ. Then ask Him for strength to resist future sexual temptations.”

“What is not okay? Anything that stirs the desire to sin.