Support Responsible Sexuality Education
Since 1997, Congress has allocated more than $500 million for unproven, medically inaccurate sexuality education programs that focus exclusively on abstaining from sex and censor information that can help young people make responsible, healthy and safe decisions about sexual activity.
There is no conclusive evidence that these programs reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, yet there is credible evidence that they deter sexually active teens from using condoms and other contraceptives. Nevertheless, the Bush Administration continues to push for increased federal spending on these misguided and harmful abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.
The "Responsible Education About Life" (REAL) Act would be the first federal program to fund comprehensive sexuality education. It would require funded programs to teach age-appropriate and medically accurate information that is free from religion. While abstinence would be taught as the only sure way to avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, programs would also be required to include information on how to prevent pregnancy and infection using contraceptives. Funding for REAL would match federal dollars currently earmarked for abstinence-only-until-marriage education.
Take Action! Urge your Members of Congress to support responsible sexuality education!
Federal dollars should support responsible and proven sexuality education that teaches young people how to avoid unintended pregnancies and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections
Evidence shows that sexuality education programs that provide information about abstinence and contraception can help delay the start of sexual activity and increase condom use among sexually active young people. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recognize that "the most effective programs [to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS] are comprehensive ones that include a focus on delaying sexual behavior and provide information on how sexually active young people can protect themselves."
Studies show that parents want schools to teach responsible comprehensive sexuality education and do not think taxpayer dollars should be spent on abstinence-only programming.
More than 85 percent of Americans believe that it is appropriate for school-based sex education programs to teach students about how to use and where to get contraceptives. Seventy percent of Americans oppose the use of federal funds for programs that prohibit teaching about the use of condoms and contraception.
Major medical groups support responsible comprehensive sexuality education.
Major medical organizations have advocated for and/or endorsed comprehensive sexuality education, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine.