A CDC report, Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2017, confirms what we already know. The majority of our teens are NOT having sex.
It is not surprising to find that when we provide facts to our youth in the context of believing the best of them, and for them, they will make better decisions for themselves. Experts agree that primary prevention is the best, and that children respond to the expectations of adults in their lives. It is clear from this study that this holds true in regards to sexual activity as well as every other area of their lives.
Making a difference in Ohio's Youth
SRA supports youth by providing them with information to help them make the best choices for their futures. The research on the success sequencing has made delaying sexual activity even more important from a parent’s perspective, and even more appealing from a teen viewpoint. Every teen I know wants to be successful as an adult. They are looking forward to what their future holds for them, and dreaming of a strong start. Learning that the most likely way to avoid poverty as an adult is to follow a simple process, empowers our future leaders to achieve economic stability. The formula is simple: get a diploma, get a job, get married before having kids.
Delaying sexual activity and avoiding teen pregnancy is connected to enjoying so many benefits! Better grades, lower incidence of depression, getting a diploma, avoiding STI’s (sexually transmitted infections) and higher self-confidence. Giving kids safer ways to engage in risky behaviors is not the answer and this report makes that point well.
A recent review by The Institute for Research and Evaluation (IRE) of research on numerous Comprehensive Sex Education programs found that these programs are not producing the results people often believe they are.
This is what IRE found:
“Using meaningful and recommended criteria (12-month post-program effects for the intended population on key protective indicators), we found insufficient evidence of effectiveness of U.S. school-based CSE at decreasing teen pregnancy or STD rates or increasing teen abstinence or condom use. There was far more evidence of CSE failure than success.” Read more…
“With regard to school-based AE [abstinence-based education], we found promising evidence for producing sustained increases in teen abstinence, enough to justify additional research.” Read more…
In fact, IRE found 7 studies that showed effectiveness for SRAE programs in promoting abstinence, compared to 0 for CSE programs. No, that is not a typo, they found zero CSE programs that were effective in promoting abstinence.
The IRE recommendation is especially important as we consider our children’s health and futures:
“With regard to sex education in the United States:
1) Given the substantial evidence of program ineffectiveness as measured by meaningful standards from the field of prevention research, and the negative effects found in several studies, we do not recommend comprehensive sex education as a viable public health strategy in U.S. school classrooms.
2) Replication studies should be conducted to verify the positive findings for school-based abstinence education, in order to better inform public policy.”
We are feeling elated and validated in the hard work we do every day to help youth make the best choices for their futures! Kudos to our Youth Department!!
If you have questions about how to help your kids achieve success, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help.
I am rooting for you—and for your kids!