Sex education has been proven to delay the initiation of sex, reduce the frequency of sex and the incidence of unprotected sex, and increase the use of condoms and contraceptives.
Abstinence-Only Sex Education is Harmful
According to the most extensive academic evaluation reviewing different approaches to sex education, abstinence-only programs do not delay the initiation of sex or reduce sexual risk behaviors among youth, nor have they been found to reduce the number of partners of those who are sexually active.
What’s worse, by emphasizing the failure rates of contraceptives as opposed to how to use these methods properly and consistently, some of these programs have actually had negative effects on young people’s willingness to use contraception. If left unchecked in Massachusetts, these programs will continue to proliferate, and communities that already have high rates of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy will continue to have high rates of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy.
Massachusetts Youth Deserve Comprehensive Sex Education
Comprehensive sexual education is a science-based approach to sexuality education that actually reduces the prevalence and frequency of teen sexual activity. Research shows that comprehensive sexual education programs help young people postpone sexual activity and improve the chances they will use condoms and other forms of contraception to protect themselves when they do become sexually active.
That is why NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts supports An Act Relative to Healthy Youth (S.263, H.410), which would ensure that schools offering sexuality education provide young people with age-appropriate, medically accurate information – including both instruction about abstinence and effective use of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy and protect against diseases.