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Sex education is important but many students finish sex education classes with a distorted view of sexuality and without a good understanding of contraception and safe-sex practices Instead children only learn that they should not have sex until they are married Abstinence-only programs in public schools have become popular because of a law giving millions of dollars to schools that teach the programs These programs have the good intention of persuading young people to wait until marriage before having sex but abstinence-only programs are not achieving this goal and are flawed by the distorted and biased perspective that they promote In 1996 the United States government passed a law giving funding to states that offered abstinence-only programs in public schools Since this time over half of a billion dollars has been given to states to promote abstinence-only programs Brody To receive the money schools must agree to follow a set of rules The rules indicate that a schools abstinence-only program must have as its exclusive purpose teaching the social psychological and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity Impacts Students must be taught that they are likely to suffer harmful effects if they have sex before marriage They also must be taught that the expected standard is for school-age children not to engage in sexual activity and for adults to engage in sexual relations only within marriage Impacts Schools receiving the funds must teach students that they should just say no to sex until they are married The schools are not allowed to teach students about safe sex and may not mention contraception except to point out the failure rates of various methods Brody Some states have refused the federal funds so that their schools can determine their own ways to teach sex education but 43 states participate in the program With millions of dollars from the government every year many schools now promote abstinence They offer abstinence-only programs with encouraging
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