Argument: Abstinence may have value, but only within comprehensive sex-ed

Issue Report: Abstinence-only vs. comprehensive sex education


“Honesty about abstinence-only”. Christian Science Monitor. 24 Apr. 2007 – To confront the apparent failures of abstinence programs is not to give up on teen abstinence as a standard.

The welfare reform that led to these classes was a collaboration between President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Now the Bush administration, faced with allegations of ignoring science, has an opportunity to refute that charge by heeding these findings and retooling its efforts.

It may be that sex education that includes abstinence is more useful than abstinence-only classes. The head of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy said Mathematica’s research supports what other studies show: “The most effective programs are those that say abstinence is the best choice but birth control and protection are also worth knowing about.”

Richard N. Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat and chair of the NYS Assembly’s Committee on Health introduced the Healthy Teens Act in that chamber. Nicholas A. Spano, a Republican state senator from Westchester who sponsored the Healthy Teens Act in the upper chamber said, “I look at this as a father and an uncle. I have two children. I’m the oldest of 16 children. I have 34 nieces and nephews. And why should we not teach our kids in an age-appropriate way about sex education? Abstinence could be part of the curriculum, but not the whole curriculum.”]

Spokeswoman Martha Kempner, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States – Comprehensive education means teaching about abstinence and a myriad of other topics. contraception, critical thinking, one’s own values and the values of your family and your religious community.[1]