Abstinence is the act of refraining from any sexual activity. Abstinence-only education programs promote abstinence from sexual activities until marriage and discuss the failure rates of condoms and contraceptives. Moreover, these programs exclude discussions about contraception, or they highlight the limitations of using them to protect against pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Abstinence-only programs encourage sexual abstinence as the only way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STIs. Young people who become sexually active enter an arena of high-risk behavior that leads to physical and emotional damage. Every year, due to the assumption of and lack of guidance, millions of teens ignore the possible risks and eventually they suffer the consequences.
The champions of Abstinence-only programs
- Abstinence-only supporters advocate that being knowledgeable about the use of contraceptives and pregnancy will encourage promiscuous sexual activity among most adolescents.
- These supporters argue that educational programs that only teach abstinence can decrease sexual activities.
- They argue that unrestricted public discourse about sex is irresponsible and misguided.
- These supporters indicate that there should be limits to public discourse with adolescents. They point out that information should not be provided that could lead to harmful and immoral thoughts and behavior.
- They indicate that unrestricted programs make allowances for homosexuality, teach youth how to have sex, and undermine “parental authority”
- Abstinence-only supporters suggest that restricting or eliminating dialogue about sex best protects adolescents and preserves sexual morality restrictive programs are the only options in some states, but they are the programs of choice in other states.
Teenage sexual activity is one of the major problems confronting every country. As a result, it has led to an increased incidence of STIs, emotional and psychological injuries, and out-of-wedlock childbearing.
Importance of the program
1. Reducing early sexual activity.
Some recent studies have shown that abstinence-only education programs for adolescents have proven to be effective in reducing early sexual activity. The studies have also shown that these programs can provide a strong foundation for personal responsibility and lasting marital commitment. Therefore, these programs are equally important to efforts aimed at reducing out-of-wedlock childbearing among teens. They also improve child well-being and increased adult happiness over the long term.
2. Reducing out-of-wedlock childbearing
Real abstinence education is important in reducing out-of-wedlock childbearing among teens. It also helps in preventing sexually transmitted diseases and improving emotional and physical well-being among teenagers. Genuine abstinence-only education programs help the teens to develop an understanding of commitment, fidelity, and intimacy. This information will serve them well as the foundations of healthy marital life in their future days.
The debate on this program
The suitable type of sex education that should be taught in schools has always been a major topic of debate. This is motivated by the high teen pregnancy and birth rates. This debate has been centered on whether abstinence-only or comprehensive sex education should be taught in schools. Some experts argue that sex education that covers safe sexual practices, such as contraceptives and condom use, sends a mixed message to teenagers hence promotes sexual activity.
The government’s role
Government and non-governmental policymakers should get aware of the consequences of early sexual activity and the undesirable contents of conventional safe sex education programs. They should also consider the findings of the professional literature concerning the effectiveness of authentic abstinence programs.
The essential message of abstinence-only programs is to delay sexual activity until marriage. And, these programs should not include information on the use of contraceptives or safer-sex practices. These programs stress continued abstinence until marriage. Therefore, they should focus on developing a loving and enduring relationship in preparation for successful marriages. They are termed as essential first steps in reducing future levels of out-of-wedlock births among teens.
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