Why America Desperately Needs Real Sex Ed, Not Abstinence
States that have the highest teen pregnancy rate have all one thing in common: They all teach an abstinence only sexual education course. Let’s take Texas as an example of the horrors that come out of abstinence only. Texas has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the United States and is known for having a strict abstinence only education program.
Two years ago Texas spent $1.2 million on a website to promote abstinence only education without any mention of contraception.
Not teaching sexual education with contraception leaves a dangerous door wide open. When teens do interact with each other in a sexual behavior they won’t know how to protect themselves from Sexually Transmitted Infections or an unwanted pregnancy. According to the CDC the Youth is still disproportionately affected by STI’s.
In a new report they stated:
The 2014 data also shows that youth are still at the highest risk of acquiring an STD, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea. Despite being a relatively small portion of the sexually active population, young people between the ages of 15 and 24 accounted for the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in 2014 and almost two thirds of all reported cases. Additionally, previous estimates suggest that young people in this age group acquire half of the estimated 20 million new [STIs] diagnosed each year.
This is extremely concerning, considering most young people don’t get tested for STI’s because of the backlash they’d get from their parents or religion. This means there will be a continued rise of the youth STI rates in the United States due to the lack of sexual education provided. This is an extremely dangerous path to go down, especially since Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause infertility and those are the two most prevalent diseases among the youth. Untreated, about 10–15% of women with chlamydia will develop Pelvic inflammatory disease. Chlamydia can cause a fallopian tube infection without any symptoms making it extremely hard to treat. PID and “silent” infection can cause damage in the upper genital tract which may cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues, which can lead to infertility.