President Obama may be in the home stretch of his presidency, but he’s not done working yet. Today, POTUS announced that the government will no longer fund “abstinence only” sex education, and channeled the funds to a more comprehensive type of sex ed instead.
According to a statement from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), in addition to cutting the $10 million subsidy, the final budget will keep funding the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, allot more funds to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, and extend the Personal Responsibility Education Program by five years.
Of course, the proposed budget is still up for Congressional debate. But the move makes sense given a slew of recent research that shows that simply telling teens not to have sex isn’t working when it comes to delaying sexual activity or reducing rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Instead, SIECUS, along with the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, wants to give teens a more comprehensive overview of their sexual health.
This isn’t to say these organizations tell kids to have sex whenever and wherever they want, but they acknowledge the fact that most people become sexually active in their teen years and want to help them do that in the safest way possible. These programs do include information about abstinence and delaying sex but also cover things like the different types of birth control, how to properly use a condom, and sexual communication skills. This, they say, has been shown to reduce HIV-risk behavior and also delay the onset of sexual intercourse.
Indeed, a review of 80 studies published in the Journal of Adolescent Health concluded that sex ed programs successfully reduce risky behaviors by delaying sex and increasing the use of condoms.
Remember: Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your body. Here’s What One Woman Learned from Ten Years of One-Night-Stands and 3 Birth Control Questions You Must Ask Your Doctor.