As a proposal to grant $135 million for abstinence education awaits Senate approval the British Medical Journal reports that sex education programsboth abstinence-only and safe sex curriculumsare not working.
A Canadian research team led by Alba DiCenso, professor at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, reviewed 22 studies on 26 programs in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. The findings show that sex ed efforts do not delay initiation of sexual intercourse, improve percentage of birth control usage, or reduce pregnancy rates. In fact, five of the studiesfour of which focused on abstinence programsshowed an increase in pregnancies in females whose partners who went through the classes.
"What the study shows is that none of the abstinence programs work," Judith De Sarno, president of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, told Fox News. "There has been an increase in the teen pregnancy rate, and what it shows is what logic should tell us: giving our kids wrong information and giving them scare tactics doesn't work."
Chad Hills disagrees. The abstinence education advocate for Focus on the Family told Christianity Today that the study is actually worse news for safe-sex curriculums, which made up the majority of those evaluated. According to a Focus on the Family paper on the study, "the most significant finding in this report is that condom-based programs have been dismal failures."
Focus found "significant problems" with the abstinence programs that the study evaluated. While the study analyzes four abstinence programs, Hills says, only three call themselves abstinence programs, and none of them is solely an abstinence-until-marriage program.
"I was reading ...1
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