Sexual Health news - Sex Education/Resources

Abstinence-only education is not good enough

Sex education is pivotal to teaching adolescents about their reproductive health and the basics of safe sexual behavior to prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and genital herpes. In addition, the proper use of condoms can reduce an individual's risk of HIV. However, some school systems still only teach abstinence and fail to include information about the use of contraceptives.

In August, the Clovis Unified School District in California's Fresno County became a target of a lawsuit for offering an abstinence-only curriculum and failing to provide more than 39,000 students with information about birth control and contraceptive options, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Parents believe that such measures can put teens' health at risk.

"As a nurse and parent, it is heartbreaking to see young people's health compromised," Aubree Smith, a parent of a teenage girl who attends Clovis High School, told the news source.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, as of 2012, 46 percent of high school students have had sex, which puts them at risk for STIs and pregnancy. Since this represents approximately half of the age group, it indicates that sex education should go beyond abstinence and inform teens about ways to have safe sex.