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Debunking myths around sex-ed with facts

Despite demonstrating the ability to help youth delay the onset of sexual activity, reduce the frequency and number of sexual partners, and increase condom and contraceptive use, Sex-ed is considered dangerous by supporters of abstinence-only education.

Comprehensive sexuality education programs are based on the idea that young people have the right to be informed about their sexuality and to make responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.

With much misinformation being propagated about comprehensive sexuality education, it is
time to put the debate to rest and debunk some of the more common myths about comprehensive sex education.

MYTH: Comprehensive sexuality education encourages youth to have sex.

FACT: Research clearly demonstrates that comprehensive sex education programs can help young people delay sexual initiation.3-9 Numerous studies in peer-reviewed literature, including a comprehensive study by the World Health Organization, have demonstrated that sex education programs that teach young people about both abstinence and contraception do not increase sexual activity nor lead youth to engage in sex at an earlier age.

MYTH: Comprehensive sexuality education programs undermine parental/family authority.10

FACT: Multiple polls indicate that an overwhelming majority of parents support providing comprehensive sexuality education in schools.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “the role of governments through ministries of education, schools, and teachers is to support and complement the role of parents by providing a safe and supportive learning environment and the tools and materials to deliver good quality sexuality education.

MYTH: Comprehensive sexuality education disregards values and morals.

FACT: Comprehensive sexuality education incorporates values and cultural sensitivity.

Quality comprehensive sexuality education supports a rights-based approach in which respect, acceptance, tolerance, equality, empathy, and reciprocity are inextricably linked to universally agreed human rights. Comprehensive sex education also provides young people with the opportunity to explore and define their individual values as well as those of their families and communities.

MYTH: Comprehensive sexuality education teaches the mechanics of sex to young children.

FACT: Comprehensive sexuality education provides age- and developmentally-appropriate information and skills to help young people delay sexual initiation and to protect themselves when they do become sexually active.
Comprehensive sexuality education is designed to be age- and developmentally-appropriate. Topics covered vary by grade and are planned and sequential to build young people’s knowledge and skills as they mature.

Stay tuned for part two!

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