Not Strictly Abstinence Anymore
'Ignorance won't protect our kids'
According to the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, the number of schools teaching "abstinence-plus" sexual education – that is, a focus on abstinence education combined with additional, factual information about contraceptives and sexually transmitted infections – has increased to just more than 25% since the 2007-2008 school year, when a TFN study found that just 3.6% were teaching more comprehensive sex education. That said, abstinence-only education still dominates Texas schoolrooms, despite any meaningful research demonstrating that these programs actually work. Indeed, Texas teens are more likely than the U.S. adolescent population to be sexually active but are less likely to use condoms; Texas' birthrate is third in the nation, and the state is second in repeat teen births. (TFN's new study can be found below. For more on the topic, see "Just Say No!," Oct. 28.)
"It's clear that more and more local school officials realize ignorance won't protect our kids," TFN President Kathy Miller said in a press release. "So now we're seeing the adoption of common-sense sex education policies that deal with a real public health crisis and that polling shows most parents support."