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Study: Sex Education Leads To Healthier Sexual Behavior

By Annie-Rose Strasser  

"Study: Sex Education Leads To Healthier Sexual Behavior"

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Coming on the heels of Rush Limbaugh’s twisted concepts of education, sex, and contraceptives, new data out from the Guttmacher Institute today suggest that men and women who receive sex education demonstrate more responsible sexual behavior. On the whole, the study showed that they wait longer before having sex for the first time, tend to have safe sex compared to their counterparts who receive no sex education, and usually have sexual partners around their age. From the study (PDF):

Respondents receiving instruction about abstinence and birth control were significantly more likely at first sex to use any contraception … or a condom … and less likely to have an age-discrepant partner … Among female subjects, condom use at first sex was significantly more likely among those receiving instruction in both [abstinence and sex education] as compared with only abstinence education.

This is not the first(PDF) study of its kind, but in the renewed culture wars, contraception and sex education has come back under the public microscope. Both Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have pledged to fund abstinence-only if elected president and new bills are popping up at the state level not just on contraception, but also sex education policies.

Several months ago, Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman supported a bill promoting abstinence in the state, arguing that single parenting is the “choice of women” who need to be “educated that it is a mistake.” The Utah legislature passed a similar measure just yesterday.

Twenty-six states currently require that schools stress abstinence in their sexual education programs.

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