Sound Education Triumphs Over Ideology
Anytown, ST – On March 10, 2010, the Anytown School Board voted down an attempt to implement an abstinence-only-until-marriage program in the junior high and high school.
“Today, sound public health policy and education triumphed over conservative ideology,” said Ann Jones, spokesperson for Parents for Better Education in Anytown. “Our school board had an opportunity to make a decision and base education on both scientific research and overwhelming community support and it took it,” Jones continued.
Parents, teachers, and other members of the community had urged the school board to vote down a motion offered by a conservative minority that wanted to implement a strict abstinence-only-until-marriage program in the schools despite the lack of evidence that such programs are effective. In fact, research suggests that some of these programs may actually harm young people. Recent research regarding virginity pledge programs found that although they may help some young people delay sexual intercourse, those young people who took the pledge were 1/3 less likely to use contraception when they did become sexually active than their peers who had not pledged.
In contrast, numerous studies of programs that include information on both abstinence and contraception found that these programs can help teens delay sexual intercourse, reduce the frequency of sexual intercourse, reduce their number of partners, and increase condom and contraceptive use.
“Our young people want, and deserve, open and honest information about sexuality that is medically accurate and age-appropriate. This is the only way they will be prepared to make responsible decisions in order to prevent unintended pregnancy, STDs, and HIV/AIDS,” said Jones. “Today our school board stood up for the health and well-being of our young people,” Jones concluded.