Abstinence-Only Programs

Abstinence-only programs deny young people life-saving information by, instead:

  • Providing misinformation and 
  • Withholding accurate information that young people need in order to make informed choices.

Abstinence-only programs do not delay sexual initiation or lower rates of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to a 10-year government study. It's no wonder the Institute of Medicine called for the termination of abstinence-only programs because they represent “poor fiscal and public health policy.”

The United States wasted more than $1.5 billion in federal and state funding on abstinence-only programs from 1996 to 2008 — programs that fail to teach teens how to prevent pregnancy or STIs.

Learn more on our sex education page.