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Abstinence-Only Programs

Since 1996, the United States has wasted more than $1.5 billion in federal and state funding on abstinence-only programs that fail to teach teens how to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

A 10-year government study found that abstinence-only programs did not delay sexual initiation or lower rates of pregnancy or STIs, and the Institute of Medicine called for the termination of abstinence-only programs because they represented “poor fiscal and public health policy.”

By providing misinformation and withholding accurate information that young people need in order to make informed choices, abstinence-only programs deny young people life-saving information.

Read our fact sheet on abstinence-only programs.

Visit our Sex Education resource section for further information about failed abstinence-only programs.