Probably few folks think taxpayer dollars should promote teen pregnancy, increase the frequency of single mothers, and promote transmission of sexual diseases such as HIV. Regrettably, under pressure from the Bush White House and religious groups, this is exactly what is happening. Comprehensive sex education in schools promotes abstinence as the best means of avoiding pregnancy and transmitting sexually communicable diseases; however, it also recognizes that many teenagers are sexually active and thus provides information on contraception and other methods of avoiding pregnancy and disease transmission.
Abstinence Only sex education, meanwhile, argues abstinence is the only method for avoiding pregnancy and disease transmission. Research, however, has been clear: while Comprehensive sex education reduces teen pregnancies and disease transmission, Abstinence Only education actually has the reverse effect. Though it might seem a reasonable program, Abstinence Only education promotes pregnancies and the transmission of disease.
Unfortunately 50 percent of high school students are sexually active. Pretending that this is not so will not reduce it. Abstinence Only education leads students to an increased risk of pregnancy and disease compared to those experiencing a Comprehensive program.
The case is so clear that the American Academy of Pediatricians, hardly a rabid left-wing organization, recently updated its teen pregnancy recommendations by omitting the statement that "abstinence counseling is an important role for all pediatricians." The new policy urges doctors to encourage adolescents to postpone sexual activity, but also argues that all teens should have access to birth control and emergency contraception.
Sincerely Alan R.P. Journet