October is Sex Ed Month of Action and the research is in: it is absolutely conclusive that abstinence only education programs not only do not work, but instead put youth at higher risk for STD transmission and unwanted pregnancies.
Despite the 1.5 billion dollars paid out to school based programs that promoted total abstinence as the only appropriate action for teenagers, research has shown that such programs do not really delay sexual activity for most teens, nor do they lead to lower teenage pregnancy or STD rates. In fact, studies have suggested that those exposed only to abstinence only programs are more likely to have unsafe sex and the consequences associated with unprotected sex, compared to those who received comprehensive sex ed.
Despite this, we STILL do not have any federal legislation that provides funding to promote comprehensive health education in schools. That’s why SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) is supporting the REAL Act, a bill that guarantees funding in order to “provide young people with the tools to make informed decisions, build healthy relationships, and have the information to protect themselves against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.” If you feel this is an important cause to support, to sign the online petition (now closed). The goal is to receive 10,000 signatures by the end of the month.