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Untitled document - In a perfect world young people would...

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In a perfect world, young people would be told not to have sex and they would listen. There would be programs in schools where teachers told students that they should refrain from having sex, and the students would go on to refrain from having sex. In that perfect world, no one would be sick or starving and there would be no wars. This is not a perfect world. A perfect world will never exist, just like young people will never stop having sex. In the imperfect world that is our own, what ends up happening is that young people are told by their schools to not have sex. Then, they have sex anyways but do so completely unprepared. This is because abstinence-only education programs do not properly educate students about how to practice safe sex which leaves students at risk for unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Abstinence-only education is a form of sex education that teaches its students to abstain from sex. However, abstinence-only education has been repeatedly proven to be ineffective in promoting abstinence. A new impact report from Mathematica's congressionally mandated multi- year evaluation of four abstinence education programs found that the programs had no effect on the sexual abstinence of youth.(Trenholm, 1998) The report also found that youth in these programs were more likely to have unprotected sex. The alternative to abstinence-only sex education is comprehensive sex education. Comprehensive sex education provides its students with information on sexual and reproductive health as well as birth control so that students can understand how to practice safe sex. A paper titled “Sex and HIV education programs: their impact on sexual behaviors of young people throughout the world”, reviewed 83 studies that measure the impact of curriculum-based sex and HIV education programs on sexual behavior among youth under 25 years anywhere in the world. The paper found that “Two-thirds of the programs significantly improved one or more sexual behaviors.” And also that, “Programs were effective across a wide variety of countries, cultures, and groups of
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youth. Replications of studies also indicate that programs remain effective when implemented by others in different communities, provided all the activities are implemented as intended in similar settings.” (Kirby, 2007) The implications of both studies show that students are less likely to have sex when they are taught a comprehensive curriculum. Abstinence-based programs do not decrease rates of sexual activity, but they do increase rates of unprotected sexual activity.
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