Earlier this week the University of Arkansas’ Arkansas Traveler published an article about sex-education in the state.
The article quoted college students who feel Arkansas should stop promoting abstinence sex-education and instead mandate comprehensive sex-education in its public schools.
One person quoted in the article said the state’s position on sex-education is “archaic” and “fueled by misinformation.”
Here’s the truth about sex-education in Arkansas:
Policymakers in Arkansas worked to implement comprehensive sex-education in the 1980s and 1990s.
These programs focused on teaching public school students about contraceptive use.
During that time, Arkansas’ teen birth rate remained high, and teenagers were among those most likely to have an abortion.
In 1997 the state switched strategies, promoting abstinence-based sex-education in public schools. The results were nothing short of staggering.
Teen birth rates and teen abortion rates in Arkansas plummeted.
From 1997 to 2003, the teen abortion rate fell by approximately 37%, and the teen birth rate fell by 16%.
The program was so successful that it garnered national attention from other states.
In 2016 the federal Center for Disease Control released a 200-page report on sexual health among students.
The report indicated that not only does abstinence education work — it positively affects every area of a student’s life.
The CDC writes, “High school students who are virgins rate significantly and consistently better in nearly all health-related behaviors and measures than their sexually active peers.”
According to the CDC report, students who are abstinent are healthier by virtually every measurement — from bike helmet and seat belt use to substance abuse, diet, doctor’s visits, exercise — even tanning bed use.
Bottom line: If any notion about sex-education is “archaic” and “fueled by misinformation,” it’s the idea that comprehensive sex-education in our public schools will somehow be good for students.
Photo Credit: RebelAt at English Wikipedia [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]