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Sex Education


Effectiveness of Sex Education Mixed

Studies of the effectiveness of sex education in achieving its goals have been mixed. Consistently, sex education has been found to increase teenager knowledge about sexual issues, provide modeling and practice to enhance interpersonal skills relative to sexual behavior, and reinforce appropriate values, but most approaches have not had the desired impact on actual sexual behavior or contraceptive use.

Some of the best results are found in education programs that are linked to school-based health clinics. Studies show that sex education is most effective when it is implemented prior to the onset of sexual activity, and when it combines both abstinence and contraceptive information.

Studies have not found that sex education encourages sexual experimentation or increased involvement in sexual activity. Programs that only promote abstinence have not been found to be effective in controlling the onset of sexual activity.


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