39 US States Rely on Abstinence-Only Education

An article recently came out about the perils of abstinence-only education. Despite all the research that proves abstinence-only education doesn’t work, 39 states in the US still solely rely upon it.

Let’s look at the facts about sex education in Alabama:

  • 50% of high school students in Alabama have had sex
  • half of those same high schoolers have had unprotected sex
  • 13-24 years olds in Alabama are the only age group that have seen an increase in HIV contraction
  • According to the CDC Montgomery, AL has the highest STD rate of any city in the nation
  • Education on where to get and use condoms is not regularly taught during Alabama’s sex education programs
  • Sex education is not being tracked across the state; some teach abstinence-only until marriage programs, other teach evidence-based programs, while others teach nothing.
  • School administrators in Alabama are afraid that parents won’t like sexual health programs being taught to their high schooler. When parents were polled, however, 66% said they believe sex ed should be taught ins school and 79% said their children should be taught how to use a condom.

How do other states add up?

  • Only 21% of schools in Arizona cover 16 sex education topics recommended by the CDC while 90% of schools in New Jersey do.
  • 2/3 of Georgia schools fail to teach all of the recommended sex ed topics
  • The states of Georgia ranks 3rd in the nation for Syphilis and 9th for Chlamydia


Abstinence-only education does not delay students from having sex. In fact, it may deter them from using contraceptives which increases their risks of contracting an STI or becoming pregnant. Comprehensive sexual education, however, helps youth to gain a positive view of sexuality, thus giving them the tools to make healthy decisions in the future. Teens that receive a comprehensive sexual education are more likely to delay the age of their first sexual encounter and are less likely to participate in risky sexual behavior.

After reading the above information, tell us what you think. Should states be given the choice when it comes to teaching sex ed? Or should there be a comprehensive sex education program mandated nationwide?

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