In case you missed it: New Study Confirms Need for Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Thursday, March 15, 2012

by Nina Jacinto
In case you missed it, a new study was published this month that confirms what many of us already knew – teens who receive formal comprehensive sexuality education are more likely to delay their first sexual experience, and also have healthier behavior regarding intercourse and sexual relationships.
Turns out that of the nearly 5,000 men and women aged 15-24 who participated in the study:
  • Those who received education on both abstinence and birth control had sex for the first time at an older age than those who received no formal education.
  • Those who received education on both abstinence and birth control were more likely to use birth control than those who had no formal education.
  • For both men and women, healthier relationship behavior during the first sexual engagement was more likely for those who had received some type of formal sex education than those that had received none. This behavior includes using contraception, using a condom, not having unwanted sex, or having sex with a romantic partner.
  • Nearly one third of young men of color had not received instruction on either abstinence or birth control methods before their first sexual engagement.
  • Low-income youth were less likely than youth of other socio-economic classes to receive formal sex education that included abstinence and birth control methods.
While the measures of the study did not correlate to any specific sex education programs, and did not examine a more inclusive, comprehensive sex education, it does confirm that there is a link between more formal sex education that includes contraceptive use and healthy behavior among young people.
If you are wondering how ACRJ and Strong Families is working to ensure that young people in Oakland are getting comprehensive sex education in their schools, read about our youth organizing work here.