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Abstinence Only Programs

The Bush AdministrationÆs advocacy of abstinence-only sex education programs is a failure when it comes to preventing teen pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among teens. One of the biggest reasons such programs fail is because of social attitudes toward sexuality and adolescent tendencies toward sexual exploration. As Kmietowicz (2002, p. 1354) explains, ôThe move away from traditional family values points to a socio-sexual transformation where sexual imagery permeates all aspects of life and teenagers are under greater pressure to experiment with sex.ö This analysis will discuss why a comprehensive sex education program is needed in public schools and why abstinence-only programs are a failure in preventing teen pregnancy and transmission of STDs.

According to Kmietowicz (2002, p. 1354), despite abstinence-only advocacy by the federal government since welfare reform in the mid-1990s, the U.S. still exhibits one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy among developed nations with 52 out of every 1000 girls between ages 15 and 19 giving birth. Despite such rates, advocates of abstinence-only sex education refuse to advocate comprehensive sex education programs including the dissemination by public schools of condoms. They view this as condoning sexual activity before marriage among adolescents.

Because of views that comprehensive sex education advocates sexual activity among adolescents, American teens are put at greater risk for pregnancy and the risk of STDs. The Youth Action Center maintains that though thirty-five percent of all school districts maintain a district-wide sex education program that teaches abstinence-only; such programs fail to keep teens from engaging in sexual activity, (Comprehensive, 2003). Most adolescents are unprepared to deal with sexual exploration in a safe manner at a time when sexual exploration is at a peak. Abstinence-only programs place teens at risk ...

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Abstinence Only Programs. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 06:15, May 31, 2020, from