Non-Abstinence Sex Ed: Utah
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The United States currently has the highest rates in developed countries for both teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Because of this, many education systems implemented abstinence-only sexual education in an effort to reduce such statistics, including the state of Utah. A recent data gathering in 2005 has shown that this form of contraceptive teaching and the number of teen pregnancies and birth rates are positively correlated. This trend remains so despite socioeconomic status, teen educational attainment, ethnic composition of the teen population, and availability of Medicaid waivers for family planning services in each state. According to this information, abstinence-only programs as a state educational policy are ineffective in preventative measures for teen pregnancies and may even be contributing to these high rates in the U.S. In addition, the lack of education in safe sexual practices leaves high risk for transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, increase of unsafe practices, ignorance to vital information, limited knowledge in various available forms of contraception, and elevated medical and emotional endangerment to our teens. As we deliberately choose not to instruct these adolescents on medically sound and necessary information, we deliberately choose to raise an ignorant future generation doing them a great disservice; education does not have to mean promotion, but it can mean solution.
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