Sex education is education about the facts of human sexual reproduction, especially at the grade-school level (adolescents and almost-adolescents).
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
Sex education is considered controversial in the United States, where it is often strongly opposed by conservatives and the religious right (see, for example, Conservapedia) on the following grounds:
- 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.
See also: Wikipedia, Guttmacher 2006-12
There is no evidence that abstinence-based education is effective, and considerable evidence that it is ineffective -- especially when it displaces comprehensive sex education.
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.
dKosopedia: no equivalent article (as of 2008-08-26) SourceWatch: no equivalent article (as of 2008-08-26)
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