Impact of Abstinence-Based Sex Education Programs Debated
The "debate" over the best method of sex education is likely to "rekindle" this year, as federal funding for abstinence-based sex education programs in schools is up for renewal, a Christian Science Monitor editorial states. While the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 allocated $250 million in federal funds, as well as matching state funds, for abstinence-based sex education courses, the editorial asks just "[h]ow effective" these courses have been in convincing teens to delay or abstain from sex. The editorial cites a recent federal study revealing that teens who have pledged abstinence usually refrain from "sexual relationships" about 18 months longer than those who have not made such a promise. This research "raises questions about the varying depths of such commitments," the editorial states, adding, "Plenty of those who pledged didn't keep the full commitment of no sex before marriage." The editorial states that the study also brings up a "central question" concerning what gives teens the resolution to stick to such a pledge. The editorial continues, "Pledges are fine, but if they're not made deep within the hThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.