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Feminist News


April-04-08

Recent Study Highlights Need for Comprehensive Sex Education in Florida

Frightening survey results from the University of Florida reveal the necessity of comprehensive sex education in schools. The Associated Press reports that the survey shows some Florida teens believe that drinking Mountain Dew or smoking marijuana will prevent pregnancy. Others believe that drinking bleach will prevent HIV infection. The Florida Senate Committee on Education approved the Healthy Teens Act in an attempt to educate students about their sexual health.

According to the University of Florida, most Florida schools teach from abstinence-only curricula, if they teach any sex education programs at all. The proposed legislation would require public schools to provide students with medically accurate information about pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), reports the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.

Adrienne Kimmel, executive director of the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said, "Florida's lack of statewide standards for sex education means that our youth are getting no information or inaccurate information from ineffective abstinence-only programs, and our teen girls are paying the price...[W]e need to provide teenagers with the information they need to make responsible decisions."

Florida has the sixth highest teen pregnancy rate in the US. A recent study by the University of Washington showed that students who receive comprehensive sex education are half as likely to become teen parents as those who receive abstinence-only sex education.

Media Resources: Associated Press 04/01/08; Local 6 News 04/02/08; Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Inc 04/01/08; Feminist Newswire 03/25/08; The Florida Senate; University of Florida 11/05/07