Before I lose some of you… yes there is a difference 🙂 Abstinence only education has been taught for years (hence image below) and at one point was the only form of sexual education.
Abstaining from sex, like any other natural desire, is going to be challenging especially if you dabbled in sexual relations before. My friends who have chosen to live a celibate life find it quite difficult because the sex craving is still there. This may be why abstinence-only education began to lose its influence. Sex has the influence and I’ll venture to say the support of media, politicians, entertainers, and professional athletes, who we often see or consider role models. These individuals have purposefully or inadvertently participated in making the idea of being a virgin or remaining celibate until marriage as something only lame individuals do. In turn, this created a label and even physical description of how one would look who is a virgin. To say the least abstinence only education has not been as effective as we’d hope.
A recent article from researchers at the University of Georgia, have confirmed that abstinence only education does not lead teens to not having sex, but the opposite. The researchers analysis of 48 states concluded, “…an overwhelming evidence indicating that abstinence-only education does not reduce teen pregnancy rates” in states that only provide abstinence-only sex education programs teen pregnancy and birth rates were significantly higher.
Abstinence educational programs are designed to provide teens with the total package associated with sex. Abstinence education provides teens with realistic outcomes and risk associated with having pre-marital and unprotected sex. Abstinence educational also addresses emotional issues associated with sex and gender identification.
I close with this question by Kathrin F. Stanger-Hall (Professor at Franklin College of Arts & Sciences), “Advocates for continued abstinence-only education need to ask themselves: If teens don’t learn about human reproduction, including safe sexual health practices to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as how to plan their reproductive adult life in school, then when should they learn it and from whom?”
For my thoughts listen to my interview with Dr. Jeri Dyson.
Scripture: “Here’s something else I saw on this earth. I saw an example of wisdom that touched me deeply” (Ecclesiastes 9:13, NIrV)
Call to Action: Seat down with your peers and see how much you all really know about sex education. (Advise using scholarly sources as references, not Wikipedia)