According to two reports issued Tuesday, one in three American schools offer abstinence-only policies that leave out any discussion of birth control or the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The Kaiser Family Foundation found in a survey of secondary school principals that 34 percent of their sex-education programs had abstinence-only policies. In the second study, the Alan Guttmacher Institute surveyed school superintendents and found that 35 percent of districts with sex-education policies only teach abstinence.
President Clinton signed a welfare overhaul legislation in 1996 that included a five-year, $250 million program for abstinence-only programs. Currently, fifteen states require that schools teach abstinence until marriage, and only 13 state require lessons about birth control and STDs.