Term of Art: Abstinence Education

“abstinence education: An educational program premised on the view that family life and sex education courses should teach students that sexual intercourse is inappropriate for young, unmarried people. Advocates say that adults must communicate an unambiguous that sex outside marriage is dangerous because of the risks of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS. Critics of abstinence-only programs say the programs ignore the reality of widespread sexual activity among teenagers and deprive teens of information they need to protect themselves physically and emotionally.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

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