Statement of Valerie Huber, Executive Director, National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study “Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and Bacterial Vaginosis among Female Adolescents in the United States” which shows 3.2 million teen girls are infected with an STI (March 11, 2008):
“For too many years, schools and communities have made reducing teen pregnancy the goal of sex education classes. Teens are erroneously taught that a condom makes sex safe. When we learn that one in four teen girls is infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), it becomes clear that the contraception-based approach taught in 75% of U.S. schools is failing young people. The CDC study shows that the sexual health of teens should be paramount. The risk-avoidance message of abstinence education should be the top public health priority in response to this new information.
Abstinence education is an holistic approach to providing youth the skills to make the best health decisions concerning sexuality. A number of credible studies prove that teaching a wide-range of character building, decision-making skills, while also offering students medically accurate information on STDs and contraception, delays the onset of sexual activity in teens, and reduces risky behavior in teens already having sex.
Teens deserve to know that condoms do not provide complete protection from STDs. Parents and community leaders need to use the information from the CDC to begin an honest conversation with young people about the dangers of casual sex, and Congress must continue investing in abstinence education programs.”