Stop Teaching ‘Abstinence Only’ in Place of Sexual Education

Target: Alex Azar-Secretary of Health and Human Services

Goal: Federally mandate medically accurate sex education.

Only 15 states require by law that sexual education be medically accurate. The U.S. has higher rates of unplanned pregnancy than any other developed country. One in five women in the U.S have reported being raped at some point in their lives. It is a catastrophic failure of the U.S. Health Department, education programs and legal system that citizens are having critical health information and resources withheld- subjecting them to unnecessary dangers and completely preventable suffering.

There are more states that require ‘abstinence only’ be taught in sex education, than there are states that require ‘consent’ in the curriculum. Is it really any wonder why the U.S. has experienced sexual assault rates of epidemic proportions?  Without proper education and access to important information regarding their health and choices, citizens in the U.S. are at higher risk of infection, disease, unplanned pregnancy and sexual assault. 

Advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood have long pushed for accurate sexual education to be made available at the very least. It seems criminal to deny U.S. citizens accurate information in schools- especially of a nature that is necessary to their health and welfare. Sign the petition below to demand that medically accurate sexual education be federally mandated. 

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Azar, 

How is it that the information provided to students in the U.S is not held to any standard of accuracy when it pertains to their health, bodies, and sexuality? It is completely irrational and extremely harmful to leave this critical blind spot unchecked in regards to public health and safety. Failure to hold states to any kind of standard has led to outrageous rates of infection, disease, sexual trauma and unplanned pregnancy. 

Not only is this withholding of information subjecting U.S. citizens to horrors untraceable, it also puts additional strain on public health resources. Many of the mentioned circumstances that people are experiencing could be prevented with accurate information, effective education and access to necessary resources.

‘Abstinence only’ is not a valid sex education curriculum. It does not work and it is a violation of separation of church and state. At the bare minimum, it must be federally mandated that what is taught in school be accurate. Sexual education should by no means be an exception. Consent, contraception and unbiased facts regarding sexual orientation must be included. 

Sincerely, 

[Your Name Here]

Photo by: Alex Silber

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11 Comments

  1. If abstinence only worked we wouldn’t have the population numbers we do. It is unfair to young people to let them remain clueless to information that may have an impact on their entire lives. STDs can have lifetime consequences, unplanned pregnancies can ruin the lives of parents and children and the heartache of children giving birth to children is unimaginable. Don’t leave young people unarmed for life, help them make good decisions by giving them the information they need to avoid bad decisions.

  2. Lisa Finnigan says:

    Abstinence is one option, not the only one. Young people should be taught about feelings and emotions and healthy ways to express them, whether this involves sex or not.

  3. Sex education is part of health education. You wouldn’t tell a child to stop eating and drinking EVERYTHING and never leave the house for fear of getting cancer, would you? Telling them to simply abstain from sex is just as reckless with about the same success rate–none. If children are expected to compete in an ever-changing global climate, they need ALL the tools and education to survive, not antiquated, outdated policies from their uptight elders.

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