A Community Response to Improving Sex Education, Cleveland Ohio
This report outlines the extraordinary effort of educators and activists to eliminate abstinence only programming and implement K-12 comprehensive sex education in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). A key element to the effort's success was the community's shared vision of improving the health of Cleveland's children and youth as well as its connectedness to key decision makers in the community. Yet the Cleveland experience demonstrates that wholesale changes in sex education are possible without controversy.
Read more / Access several years' evaluations and briefs on specific aspects of this landmark effort
Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in Ohio
An evaluation of abstinence only programs in Ohio demonstrates that in in 2005, Ohio ranked fourth in the nation in tax dollars expended for abstinence education. Yet statewide rates of teen pregnancy and STDs remained high. While abstinence oriented sexual education has been demonstrated to delay onset of sexual intercourse, participants experience no decrease in rates of STDs.
Read more about some critical problems Frank identifies with abstinence only sexual health education: Download PDF
The Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programs
At the request of Rep. Henry Waxman, this 2004 report evaluates the content of the largest federal abstinence initiative, SPRANS (Special Programs of Regional and National Significance Community-Based Abstinence Education). The report finds that over 80 percent of the abstinence-only curricula contained false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health, including the effectiveness of condoms, the risks associated with abortion, and how the HIV virus is transmitted.
Read the entire report: Download PDF
Abstinence-Only Programs in Illinois
Advocates for Youth evaluated four popular abstinence-only curricula used in Illinois—Sex Respect, Choosing the Best, Navigator and A.C. Green's Game Plan—for inaccuracies, misinformation, and biases that put the state's youth at risk.
Read their evaluation
Plain Talk, the South Valley, New Mexico
The South Valley experiences some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and poverty in New Mexico. Plain Talk, or Hablando Claro, is a community-based health initiative that encourages parents and other adults to have open, honest, and accurate discussions with young people about sex. A 1998 study found that Plain Talk lead to increased levels of communication between adults and sexually active youth and also increased levels of awareness among youth about where to get contraception. Moreover, teens were less likely to have been involved in a pregnancy or diagnosed with an STD.
Read more about Plain Talk
It's Your Game: Keep It Real: Delaying Sexual Behavior with an Effective Middle School Program
It's Your Game: Keep it Real (IYG) is a theory based comprehensive sex-ed program targeted at middle school students in Southeast Texas. In 2009, researchers found that students who participated in the program reported lower rates of sexual activity than those who did not partake in It's Your Game. Researchers suggest that "a theory-driven, multi-component, curriculum-based intervention can delay sexual initiation up to 24 months can have impact on specific types of sexual behavior such as initiation of oral and anal sex; and may be especially effective with females.
Read more about It's Your Game
CDC: One-third of Sex Ed Omits Birth Control
According to the CDC, lessons about "saying no" and the dangers STDs were more common in American sex education classes than instruction on how to use a condom or other birth control. The 2011 report found that about 97 percent of teens interviewed reported receiving formal sex education in school, church, community center or other setting. Despite the emphasis on abstinence, other recent data shows that after years of steady decline, the teen birth rate rose from 2005 to 2007.
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Comprehensive Sex Education Might Reduce Teen Pregnancies, Study Suggests
In 2008, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that teens who received comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to report becoming pregnant or impregnating someone than those who received no sex education. The likelihood of pregnancy was 30 percent lower among those who had abstinence-only education compared to those who received no sex education, but the researchers deemed that number statistically insignificant because few teens fit into the categories that researchers analyzed.
Read an article about the study
After the Promise: the STD Consequences of Adolescent Virginity Pledges
Researchers from Yale and Columbia Universities found that teens who pledged to remain virgins until marriage reported about the same STD infection rates as nonpledgers. Additionally, pledgers reported lower frequency of condom use at first intercourse.
Read the full study: Download PDF