Is Sex Education Effective?

Research has shown that comprehensive sex education benefits young adults substantially. These programs assist teenagers deal with peer pressure and teaches them the art of communication and negotiation.. It assists them with imbibing assertive skills, crucial in their dealings with peers.

The US government, since 1996, had started a series of sexual health programs that teach ‘abstinence only’. The basic principle of these programs advice individuals to maintain a single partner sexual relationship within the framework of marriage as a standard form of behavior. The counselors for these programs stress that sexual relationship with more than one partner can cause several adverse psychological and physical effects. These programs had quite a few times censored the information related to contraception to exaggerate the success/failure rates.

The programme was endorsed by agencies like the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, and National Institutes of Health. Ion fact they have published research reports that support the effectiveness of sex education programs conducted in the US and other parts of the world. However, there is no definite proof available on the effectiveness of programs that support the ‘abstinence-only-till-marriage’ principle.

One of the fears that some of the parents and teachers express about sex-education is that this kind of information to a young mind may liberate them and allow them to indulge in sexual intercourse more frequently. This fear has been dispelled by undertaking a meta-analysis of 25 different research publication that show that sex education to the teenagers do not make them more promiscuous and it does not encourage them to indulge in sexual intercourse more frequently. On the contrary, these programs had delayed the initiation of the participants to sexual intercourse, and in at least three of the programs related to HIV and sex education, demonstrated a decrease in the frequency of sexual intercourse.

The research also showed that in 12 of the comprehensive sex education programs under review, sexually active participants had demonstrated increase in the use of condoms.

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