Abstinence-Only Education is Unethical

According to NPR, Abstinence-only sex education is unethical and ineffective in reducing rates of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.   Laura Lindberg of Guttmacher Institute notes "that abstinence-only education programs don't succeed in reducing rates of teen pregnancies or STDs."  In fact, Lindberg states that the approach "have little demonstrated efficacy in helping adolescents to delay intercourse".

Abstinence only sex education is also not inclusive to non binary, non conforming students because they "typically advocate monogamous, heterosexual marriage as the only appropriate context for sexual intercourse".  A report conducted in 2004 suggests this focus continues "gender stereotypes about female passivity and male aggressiveness".  Furthermore, the abstinence until marriage program "is increasingly unrealistic" because it does not account for the fact that "Americans are marrying later".  

The continuing support of abstinence only sex education "violates medical ethics and harms young people" because information regarding pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are not disseminated or overstated.  To date, "the federal government has spent about $2 billion over the past 20 years on abstinence-based education."  The current administration plans on continuing funds for abstinence until marriage programs even though evidence shows it to be ineffective, unethical and harmful. 

Even though comprehensive sex education is the logical step in reducing unwanted pregnancies and STDs, only four of the fifty states have made comprehensive sex education a priority.  More Than Sex-Ed supports comprehensive sex education that is fact based and inclusive.  Please share this article to show your support for comprehensive sex education! To learn more about comprehensive sex education, check out our website morethansex-ed.org.