Sex Education and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
Access to sex education programs that give young people the reliable, accurate information they need to make responsible decisions and stay healthy is critical, especially considering that the U.S. has one of the highest rates of both unintended pregnancy and teen pregnancy rates among the world’s most developed countries.
Unfortunately, some politicians are determined to put young people at risk and insist schools teach abstinence–only education.
The facts are:
- Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of sex education in the country.
- Nearly 1.2 million teens and adults receive medically accurate sex education from Planned Parenthood affiliates each year.
- Comprehensive sex education programs help give young people the information and skills they need to help them delay sexual activity and to protect themselves when they do become sexually active.
- Abstinence-only programs (also called abstinence-only-until-marriage programs) promote abstinence from sexual activity. They strictly exclude discussion of other important sex ed topics, especially those concerned with birth control, safer sex, and sexual orientation.
- Abstinence-only programs often provide inaccurate and alarmist misinformation about the effectiveness of condoms, contraception, and safer sex.
- Eighty-two percent of teen pregnancies are unplanned; they account for about one-fifth of all unintended pregnancies annually.
- Each year, almost 750,000 U.S. teens aged 15–19 become pregnant.
- A University of Washington study found that young people who receive comprehensive sex education are half as likely to become teen parents compared to those who received no sex education or abstinence-only education. (Source)
o More than 90 percent of parents support sex ed, including information about birth control methods, in high school.
o Seventy-five percent of parents support sex ed, including information about birth control methods, in middle school.
Currently at least one in four teen girls has an STI, making it more important than ever to teach comprehensive sex education.