Abstinence-Only Sex Education Doesn't Work, Say UGA Researchers

Marion Herbert's picture
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When it comes to reducing teen pregnancy and birth rates, abstinence-only sex education just doesn’t work, according to University of Georgia researchers.

The states that mandate abstinence-only sex education programs in public schools have higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than states that have more comprehensive programs that include instruction in other ways of preventing pregnancy, according to Kathrin Stanger-Hall and David Hall.

“This clearly shows that prescribed abstinence-only education in public schools does not lead to abstinent behavior. It may even contribute to the high teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. compared to other industrialized countries,” said David Hall, a genetics professor in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

The researchers also looked at the influence of other facts on teen pregnancy, such as socioeconomic status, education level, access to Medicaid waivers and ethnicity.

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