Sexuality Research and Social Policy – Volume 5, Number 3

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National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC)

The September issue of the NSRC's journal is devoted entirely to a series of articles that identify major flaws in abstinence-only education, including problems with accuracy, effectiveness and ethics. The issue was guest-edited by John S. Santelli and Leslie M. Kantor, both with Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The articles make several points, including:

*The promotion of abstinence until marriage is directly at odds with long-term demographic trends, including earlier age at first sex and later age at first marriage.

*Abstinence-only programs' silence or misinformation on condom effectiveness violates young people's right to information and to the means with which to protect their health.

*States that refused to accept federal funding under the rigid Title V abstinence-only program often had concerns about its efficacy and accuracy, as well as progressive governments and strong advocates for comprehensive sexuality education.

*Commonly used abstinence-only curricula do not provide complete, current or accurate medical knowledge about the effectiveness of condoms. Article abstracts available online at NSRC, (415) 817-4525.