Skip to content. Everyone has an opinion about sexuality education. From vocal parents at PTA meetings to state governors who must decide whether to apply for federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs or more comprehensive sexuality programs, or both, or neither. From school principals who have to choose which sex education speakers to let into their schools to presidential candidates who have to defend their views from the most zealot activists. With so much money at stake, and with such differing moral and ethical views of how to approach it, sexuality education has, in many ways, taken over from abortion as the leading symbolic fight in the culture wars.
Abstinent vs. Celibate
Abstinent vs. Celibate - What's the difference? | Ask Difference
Many questions frame this debate: Is abstinence a good message? Is teen sex and pre-marital sex wrong? Or, is teen sexuality and possibly sex natural and acceptable? If the goal is to reduce sex rates among teens, does abstinence-only succeed? And, what about comprehensive sex education? If the goal is to reduce the spread of STDs among teens, is one approach better than the other?
Sex Education Based on Abstinence? There’s a Real Absence of Evidence
Late last month I interviewed a woman who was 19 when she contracted the herpes simplex virus HSV1 genitally while still identifying as a virgin. Coming to terms with the realization that there were still risks, despite abstaining from vaginal intercourse, this young woman now knows she was lacking some basic knowledge that she needed to make informed decisions about her sexual health. What would have helped her?
The institute has kept the numbers constantly updated since as the trend of lowered teen birth rates has continued to drop nationwide. Sex ed is mandated in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Of that total, the following 22 states and the District of Columbia mandate both sex ed and HIV education:. Two states mandate sex ed only:. HIV education is mandated in 34 states and the District of Columbia.