Report Highlights Sex Education Flaws
Special Report - June 20, 2012
A recent report from the nation’s leading abstinence organization exposes the weaknesses of comprehensive sex education (CSE), which has increasingly replaced authentic abstinence education in public schools nationwide. The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) released part one of its Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Education report on June 19. Entitled “Sexual Risk Avoidance Education: Considerations for Protecting Teen Health,” it “details the differences between two major sex education approaches being implemented in American schools and funded by the American taxpayer.”
Part one of the two-part report, “Challenging the Content, Research, and Funding of Comprehensive Sex Education’s Risk Reduction Approach” includes “an exhaustive expose' examining so-called ‘comprehensive’ sex education which focuses primarily on simply reducing the risk of teen sex while ignoring the established goals of public health models designed to achieve optimal health.” The report examines what it dubs “the dismal research” that advocates of CSE use to direct hundreds of millions of tax dollars to such programs that claim to be “evidence-based” and “scientific.” Additionally, the report showcases the “extremism” of the “explicit content” found in major CSE programs.
The report highlights the fact that American teenagers are bombarded with “a message that encourages sexual experimentation and downplays the risks associated with that behavior,” even in their sex education classes. It goes on to argue that, rather than addressing this messaging problem, CSE programs “often add to the problem by promoting curricula that normalize teen sex and encourage youth to discover ‘outercourse’ alternatives to intercourseand they mistakenly refer to such risky behaviors as ‘abstinence.’” Additionally, the report highlights six problems with CSE programs: 1) They are narrow in focus; 2) They emphasize risk reduction in teen sexual activity, rather than risk avoidance; 3) They are medically inaccurate; 4) They normalize teen sex; 5) They undermine the role of parents; and 6) They lack proven effectiveness in the classroom.
The report laments that despite poor outcomes from CSE programs that focus on “merely reducing the physical risks of teen sex, without prominently addressing the many other possible consequences of that activity,” CSE has been not only the mainstay of sex education for decades, but continues to receive “the lion’s share of all funding,” and constantly seeks more funding.
In conclusion, the report “calls for a fresh look at the sex education battleone that focuses the lens on optimal health for youth, rather than political scoreboards; one that requires an honest look at the content, the context, and the desired outcomes for America's teens, in tandem with the research; and one that refuses to use objective-sounding terminology as a cover for dubious agendas.”
“For too long the American public has been duped into believing that increasing contraception use among teens is the best we can do for their health and well-being,” stated Valerie Huber, executive director or NAEA in a press release. “This well documented report clearly demonstrates how sexual risk reduction is an inferior approach that censors the best health messages in favor of the 'sex when you are ready is fine; just be sure to use protection' message. Certainly it is time for a clear, unambiguous message that gives needed information without normalizing teen sex.”
According to NAEA, the second half of the report, “Why Sexual Risk Avoidance is the Best Educational Approach, Based on Theory, Research, and Effectiveness,” will be released next week. It “will cover the content and research supporting Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) abstinence programs and recommendations for policy and funding considerations.”
Chacteristics of Teen Fathers - June 14, 2012
CDC Analyzes Teen Mom Contraceptive Use - January 26, 2012
Sex Standards Promote Gender Confusion - January 12, 2012
Federal Abstinence Funds Restored - January 10, 2012
NC Abortions and Teen Pregnancies Drop - December 14, 2011
Teen Sex Linked to Divorce - June 23, 2011
Abortions Down In NC, Steady Nationwide - January 18, 2011
NC Teen Pregnancy Rates Hit New Low - October 19, 2010
NC Sex Education Requirements - August 16, 2010
NC Teen Pregnancy Rates Hit 3-year Low - February 4, 2010
Controversial Curriculum Changes - February 8, 2010
NC Abortion Profile Updated - November 3, 2009
The Healthy Youth Act: What It Means For Sex Education - FNC Oct/Nov 2009
New Sex Ed Law Implementation Underway - September 3, 2009
Adolescent Sexual Health Trends Detailed - August 6, 2009
North Carolina Teen Birth Rate Increases - August 7, 2008
Ten Reasons To Keep Abstinence Education in NC - FNC - July 2009
Undermining Abstinence - FNC - January 2009
Parents Matter In Teen Decisions About Sex - October 17, 2008
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