Federal sex education program
Also available in [ PDF ] format. Order Publication Online. In fact, until recently, programs which met a strict abstinence-only definition were the only type of sex education eligible for federal funding; no funding existed for comprehensive sex education, which stresses abstinence but also provides information about contraception and condoms. Not surprisingly, it is comprehensive sex education programs which help youth remain healthy and avoid negative sexual health outcomes. This document explores the research around comprehensive sex education and abstinence-only programs.
Sex Education Standards Across the States
Fact Sheets & Policy Briefs - SIECUS
On April 20, , the U. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Teen Pregnancy Prevention TPP Program—a grant program created by the Obama administration in to reduce teen pregnancy rates in the United States—will provide funding only to organizations promoting abstinence-only approaches. While the American public is demanding ways to tackle teen pregnancy and other issues such as unhealthy relationships, 4 the federal government is reducing access to critical intervention tools—an important one being comprehensive sex education. Sex education across the country is being underutilized and even misused. Adolescents receive information about sex and sexuality from a multitude of sources, including the media, school, religious organizations, family, and peers. And as the sources of sex education become even more diverse and are presented in ways that may be inconsistent, confusing, or misleading, educators must leverage these sources and align messaging to help young people determine how best to engage in positive, healthy relationships. State sex education standards in public schools vary widely.
Overview of Approaches to Sex Education
Federally funded abstinence-only programs use curricula that contain "false, misleading or distorted information about reproductive health," according to a congressional study prepared for Representative Henry A. Waxman D-CA. For example, while abstinence-only classes encourage young people to take a pledge that they will remain virgins until marriage, the Waxman study cites research that indicates "virginity pledgers" are no less likely to engage in premarital sex than their peers. Pledgers have rates of sexually transmitted diseases similar to other teens, and are less likely to use contraception in the event that they do engage in sexual intercourse. The Bush administration distorted science-based performance measures when testing whether abstinence-only programs were proving effective.
Title V is a federally funded program funded under the federal welfare reform law Section b of Title V of the Social Security Act. Abstinence only sex education programs prohibit discussion on contraception, including condoms, except for failure rates. Without federal matching dollars, States would have to foot the whole bill on their own. The Title V program is currently set to expire on June 30, Latinas have the highest incidence of unintended pregnancy, many times, economic barriers and lack of health insurance, limit access to birth control pills, condoms and emergency contraception.