Lying to teens about birth control, including condoms, is dangerous. Yet that's exactly what many "abstinence-only" programs do. "Abstinence-only" programs ban teachers from talking about birth control in lessons about preventing pregnancy or avoiding sexually transmitted diseases.
Parents rely on schools to teach teens the facts that they will need in adulthood. If your teen's health class teaches an "abstinence-only" program, it's possible that your teen doesn't know all the facts to stay safe.
- "Abstinence-only" programs do not teach teens about birth-control methods. Teens only learn that birth control, including condoms, fail at times.
- Some programs even give teens false information about sex and birth control.
Because "abstinence-only" programs leave out a lot of important information, they just don't work. They don't cause teens to wait until marriage to have sex. Instead, some teens who take "abstinence-only" classes are less likely to use birth control when they decide to have sex.
"Abstinence-only" programs actually are quite dangerous. And teens pay the price.
- One in four teen girls has a sexually transmitted disease.
- Nearly one-third of teen girls gets pregnant before the age of 20.
It's important that parents teach their teens about values at home. If we want teens to act responsibly when it comes to sex, schools must teach them the facts. Sex-education classes that provide facts about both abstinence and birth control work.
- Teens are more likely to wait to have sex if they get accurate information.
- Teens who decide to have sex are more likely to be safe and use protection.
We are working to put traditional sex education into schools in all 50 states.