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As sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise among America's youth, the Heritage Foundation's report on "The Effectiveness of Abstinence Education Programs in Reducing Sexual Activity Among Youth" should give readers serious food for thought. While many question the efficacy and advisability behind abstinence counseling, the report calls into question programs that either discount or gloss over abstinence as a viable choice among the nation's teen population. Backed by major studies, among them one authored by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the report argues that traditional, secular sex education, which emphasizes the importance of prophylactic methods of contraception, does little more than shuttle America's kids toward their first sexual experiences, while doing little to prevent the brunt of unwanted pregnancies or stem the rising tide of sexually transmitted disease in the target population. Signaling the gravity of the underlying issues, ones with lifelong and even life-threatening implications, the report calls attention to ten regional programs recognized for their efforts in promoting teen sexual abstinence. As further evidence in support of their cause, the report also points renewed favor it has gained at the Executive, federal, and state levels.
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