Why abstinence-only sex ed simply doesn’t work

By Matthew Lynch

When I first saw the headline, I thought it was too ironic to be true: Texas school teaching abstinence-only sex ed suffers chlamydia outbreak.

I would’ve probably even laughed if I hadn’t realized quickly that it was not only true, but that it meant dozens of kids now had to deal with the discomfort and potential long-term harm of a sexually transmitted disease. These are kids that were clearly not practicing abstinence and were ill-prepared for real-life sexual encounters. It isn’t the fault of these kids, either.

It is irresponsible of school systems to teach abstinence-only sexual education and it should be illegal in public schools.

Should abstinence be taught as the only sure way to avoid things like unplanned pregnancies and STDs? Of course it should because it IS the only absolute way. But that abstinence extends beyond basic sexual intercourse. Students need to understand exactly all the ways they can be harmed by unprotected sex and then given the power to protect themselves.

The argument that parents should be the only ones to talk to their kids about sexual options just doesn’t cut it because it is elitist. It only works for students whose parents have the time or concern to actually sit down with their kids and have that talk. It leaves out the many students whose parents won’t actually have this talk with their kids or the ones who will preach abstinence-only. Schools have the responsibility to educate to their best of their abilities, and let’s face it: abstinence-only sex ed fails that mantra miserably.

What do you think? Should public schools be required to teach safe sex practices?




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