The United States has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections among adolescents and the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world. Yet the levels of sexual activity and the age at which teenagers become sexually active do not vary much across comparable developed countries such as Canada, Great Britain, France, and Sweden.
A primary reason for the high rates in the United States is that many public schools do not offer effective sex education programs. Instead, many school districts use abstinence-only curricula that are religiously biased, provide no information on using contraception, and have never been proven effective by peer-reviewed scientific study.
In 1994, the General Assembly adopted a statement expressing strong support for comprehensive sexuality education in public schools.
What you can doUnitarian Universalists should urge their members of Congress to support the Responsible Education About Life Act, or real Act. The real Act would create a federal funding stream for schools and community organizations that want to provide medically accurate, age-appropriate information about both abstinence and contraception. For statistics, talking points, and other information visit the UUA Washington Office Web site at www.uua.org/uuawo. You can also contact Kierstin Homblette at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (202) 296-4672 x13.
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