There Are Other Ways Than Abstinence Until Marriage For Teens

828 words - 4 pages

Everything today, from soda-pop commercials to magazines at the grocery store, oozes sexuality. It’s an impossible influence to avoid, and young people need to be taught by both parents and teachers. There are very few Americans that remain abstinent until marriage and most go on to sexual activity intercourse as adolescents. Abstinence from sexual intercourse is an important strategy for preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unintended pregnancy among adolescents and young adult. According to A Review of U.S. Policies and Programs, many Abstinence and Abstinence-Only Education programs are being taught in many school systems from high ...view middle of the document...

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 6.6% of American children begin their sex lives before the age of 13, and more than 60% by the time they reach graduation. Another study reports that at least one in four teen girls in the United States has an STD (Sternberg, 2002). However, supporters of abstinence only education firmly believe that teaching young adults about contraception and prevention will only promote premarital sex. “Not only do students learn how to obtain condoms, but they also practice putting them on cucumbers or penile models. Masturbation, body massages, bathing together, and fantasizing are listed as "ways to be close" in one curriculum” (The Physicians Consortium, 2002), these guidelines call for teaching five- through eight-year-olds about masturbation and accepting cohabitation and homosexuality. Upper elementary and junior high grades have classes on these subjects, as well as lessons on sexual fantasies, contraception, and abortion. For high school students, SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) recommends adding discussion on using erotic photographs and literature, body massages, bathing/showering together, and oral, vaginal, and anal intercourse (The Physicians Consortium, 2002). Nearly all of the fifty-page guidelines are devoted to these topics, while only one-half of a page is dedicated to abstinence. Believers in comprehensive sex education completely disagree; Congress and state governments have wasted more than $1.5 billion on dangerous abstinence-only programs that deny young people vital information about birth control and responsible decision making. “Teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way...

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