Comprehensive Sexuality Education vs. Abstinence-Only Sexuality Education: The Need for Evidence-Based Research and Practice

Emily L. McCave
September 2007
School Social Work Journal (Follmer Group);Fall2007, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p14
Academic Journal
Teen pregnancy has declined due to stagnating sexual activity rates and increases in contraceptive use. Still, between 800,000 and 900,000 adolescents become pregnant each year in America. Many who become parents during adolescence are unable to achieve positive health, economic, and social well-being outcomes, particularly around educational success. This article reviews the empirical literature regarding the effectiveness of comprehensive and abstinence-only sexuality education, which heavily supports the provision of comprehensive sexuality education. It also examines the essential role that Title X, the national family planning policy, can play in increasing implementation of comprehensive sexuality education programs both within schools and in the community. School social workers can better serve the individuals and the communities they work with by increasing their knowledge of effective prevention programs and advocating policies that support such programs.


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