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SIECUS Analysis:
This study adds to the growing body of research in support of a comprehensive approach to sexuality education. First, it confirms that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are not effective in changing young people’s sexual behavior or preventing negative outcomes such as teen pregnancy. More importantly, however, it confirms that programs that teach young people about both abstinence and contraception/disease prevention are, in fact, effective.

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In addition, this study also reveals some disturbing disparities in what young people are learning. For example, it found that a plurality, 36.9%, of young people who received no sex education live in households that made less than $20,000. Moreover, the authors note that “generally individuals receiving no sex education tended to be from low-income, nonintact families, black, and from rural areas.” We know that young people of color and young people from low-income communities are disproportionately affected by teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. In order to overcome these health disparities, we must ensure that these young people, in particular, receive high quality sexuality education.

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Another form of teenage pregnancy prevention that is being taught in schools is various contraceptive techniques. Although abstinence remains the best way to prevent pregnancy among teens, it is a fact that there are still a large number of them who will be involved in sexual relations. For this reason, it is important that teens be provided with broad information on how to do so responsibly using various contraceptive techniques. Most of the sex education in schools consists of one message: "Don't have sex--but if you do, use a condom" (Khouzam 3). The problem that rises from this is that teenagers are not being exposed to extensive information on the various forms of birth control, condoms, and other methods of prevention that are available. According to Helen Lippman, contraceptives are talked about in sex education classes, but only as being ineffective in preventing pregnancy and diseases (1). Also, these classes on contraceptives should include information on how to obtain the different methods of birth control. Jocelyn Elders has also advocated school-based health clinics nationwide with the purpose of reducing teen pregnancy with the availability of contraceptives (Khouzam 3). This is a way to ensure contraceptive use for many young teens who, rather than going to their parents for help in obtaining birth control, choose to have sex without protection simply because that protection is not made available to them.

From asthma to ulcers, this section is loaded with articles about diseases and conditions that can affect teens
Sometimes the complaints typical of some teens — I'm too tired, my stomach hurts, I just want to sleep — are signs of a very real illness called POTS.

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