Sex education has been a topic of debate for decades, with people coming down on all sides of the argument. Should schools have sex ed, which is a class for educating kids on sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and the risk of pregnancy? Should they focus on abstinence from sexual intercourse instead of education on how to make teenage intercourse safe? Which is right? Both? Neither?
Well, according to many worldwide studies, sex ed isn’t as effective as many would hope. This is especially true in the case of traditional sex education, and how it relates to teen pregnancy numbers.
The Purpose of Sex Education
The education aspect of sex education is, of course, the main focus. It will go over the risks of developing a sexually transmitted disease, and communicate the negative elements teenage pregnancy can have on a life.
Abstinence programs might take a moral approach, and talk about how sex should be saved until marriage as a sacred act. Ideally, sex education of any kind would result in fewer instances of sexually transmitted diseases and a decrease in the number of teen pregnancies within the group of kids who went through the sex ed program. Despite this curriculum seeming helpful on paper, it doesn’t seem to be the reality.
Teen Pregnancy Not Linked to Sex Ed
The UK’s “Catholic Herald” recently reported on “The Effect of Spending Cuts on Teen Pregnancy.” The data from this study was surprising, and proved liberals who feel teens only need to be educated more about birth control in order to prevent pregnancy are absolutely wrong.
In fact, it was the removal of sex education from schools, not its implementation, that led to a reduction in teen pregnancy. The study, which was led by Liam Wright of the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield and David Paton of Nottingham University Business School, was based on their desire to “examine the impact of reductions in local expenditure on one particular public health target: reducing rates of teen pregnancy.”
The reductions mentioned were a cut in tax funds that were utilized to fund sex ed in schools, and to provide students with free birth control. The following was noted after reviewing their findings:
“Contrary to predictions made at the time of the cuts, panel data estimates provide no evidence that areas which reduced expenditure the most have experienced relative increases in teenage pregnancy rates. Rather, expenditure cuts are associated with small reductions in teen pregnancy rates.”
Teen pregnancies in England have fallen to their lowest levels since 1969. This has come on the heels of government cuts of sex education funding.
Is this just a coincidence? Perhaps, but more than likely, the data proves what many conservatives have been saying for awhile. Sex education, providing free birth control and normalizing teenage sexuality doesn’t reduce the instances of teen pregnancy or subsequent abortions at all. In fact, it increases the amount of teen pregnancies.
What Americans Can Learn From This Study
There have been similar studies in America that also show no significant reduction in teenage pregnancy after the implementation of sex ed. Unfortunately, data doesn’t prove abstinence programs work that much better either. Instead, it seems that improving the quality of lives of kids is the best way to go about keeping them from having sex, and ending up pregnant as a teen.
When you consider this, it makes sense. If a teen respects their self enough, they will want to wait to have sex or at the very least want to prevent pregnancy. If they have a dream ready and waiting for them of going to college or something similar or are taught right from wrong, it can cause them to think twice before doing something that might negatively impact the rest of their lives.
This is the best way to reduce teen pregnancy, makings kids care about their own lives, sharing hope with kids, helping them see a way out of their current life station.
When schools and government authorities can do this successfully, they will likely see better results when it comes to their rate of teenage pregnancy than they would from any sex education program. It all starts in the heart after all. A person’s moral compass and self-determination is set outside of a simple education class.
No class is a substitute for self-respect or a healthy home life, and the data backs this up.
~ 1776 Christian