The Pittsburgh Public School District approved a comprehensive sex education program in an 8 to 1 vote last night. The decision expands Pittsburgh public school’s current abstinence-only program to include contraception and alternative lifestyles.
The new comprehensive program was proposed as a solution to the high birth rate of Pittsburgh teens, which make up 14% of all births in the city. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that district administrators have referenced multiple studies that show comprehensive sexual education programs delay sexual intercourse.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the comprehensive program, called “abstinence plus” education, will still stress abstinence as the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Classes will not include the distribution or demonstration of contraception and contraceptive methods, but contraception will be included in the curriculum.
Pittsburgh Public School’s Superintendant Mark Roosevelt told the Pittsburgh Channel that the curriculum shift is in response to the reality that “In today’s world, kids need to know facts, and keeping facts from them will not make them safer or wiser.”