Contraception is a major area of sex education because it allows those who are sexually active to:
- reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy
- reduce the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), especially among teenagers
- teaching kids about sex will increase their interest in it
- it is better to teach kids to abstain from sex (abstinence-based education) than to teach them more about it
This has given rise to two major forms of sex education in the US, "abstinence-based" (which emphasizes abstinence as the best prevention) and "comprehensive" (which teaches proper use of contraceptives and includes bioscience).
Since 1982, the US has spent over $1.5 billion on ABE. The Bush II administration widely promoted ABE and laws to encourage abstinence-based over comprehensive.
Evidence regarding the effectiveness of comprehensive sex education versus no sex education at all is less easy to come by, and Issuepedia is still collecting data.
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