Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE):
Teaches that abstinence is the best method for avoiding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy, but also teaches about condom use and contraceptive methods to reduce the risk of STI and unintended pregnancy. It covers a broad range of issues relating to both the physical and biological aspects of sexuality, and the emotional and social aspects of sexuality. It can support the efforts of parents and teachers to provide honest, accurate, and affirming information to young people about sexuality, and help diminish the impact of some of the negative or inaccurate sexual messages and stereotypes often found in the media and sometimes supported by their peers. Furthermore, such programs empower youth to make responsible choices that protect their health, well-being and provide support for academic achievement.
- A recent examination of the National Survey of Family Growth to determine the impact of sexuality education on sexual risk-taking for young people ages 15-19, revealed that teens who received comprehensive sexuality education were 50% less likely to report a pregnancy than those who received abstinence-only education. (Kohler, et al. Abstinence-only and Comprehensive Sex Education and the Initiation of Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy. Journal of Adolescent Health, 42 (4): 344-351)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognize that “health-risk behaviors such as early sexual initiation, violence, and physical inactivity are consistently linked to poor grades and test scores and lower educational attainment”, and that “school health programs can have positive effects on educational outcomes, as well as health-risk behaviors and health outcomes.”
- Evaluations of comprehensive sex education programs show that these programs can help youth delay the onset of sexual activity reduce the number of sexual partners, and increase condom and contraceptive use. (Advocates for Youth August 2010 Comprehensive Sex Education and Academic Success-Effective Programs Foster Student Achievement)