Abstinence-only sexual education (also “abstinence education” and “abstinence-until-marriage education”) refers to a group of sexual education curricula intended to teach children that they should abstain from sexual intimacy with another individual until they become adults and usually until they are married. Many U.S. state and local boards of education have adopted these programs, which typically focus on sexual activity as inappropriate and/or impractical for adolescents and which avoid discussion of the specific details of sexual activity, contraception, and sexual disease prevention. These omissions have been protested by parents and civic organizations, who argue that adolescents must be informed with up-to-date and accurate information regarding sexuality so that they can make informed decisions about whether or not to engage in sexual activity.

While teaching about sexual abstinence ...

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