Healthy teens generally do better in school than their less healthy peers. When teens have accurate information and effective skills, they can eliminate or minimize other factors that threaten their success in school. In particular, health education including sex education provides adolescents with the information and skills they need to avoid many health risks, including unintended or unwanted pregnancy as well as most sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Research has shown that:
- Sex education protects student health
- Providing sex education helps students achieve academic success
- Health and academic achievement are linked
- Sexual risk taking and its consequences can affect students’ performance at school
- Health disparities are interrelated and have a devastating effect on academic performance
- Health programs, including health education, can help reduce health disparities and assist youth to succeed in school
These statements are excerpted from Comprehensive Sex Education and Academic Success: Effective Programs Foster Student Achievement.
For additional information, please check out the following links:
- Three Decades of Research: The Case for Comprehensive Sex Education, a systematic literature review by Eva S. Goldfarb, Ph.D and Lisa D. Lieberman, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
- Research from Mathematica Policy Research Inc. that abstinence-only programs have not been proven effective at lowering teen pregnancy or STI rates, increasing young people’s knowledge, or even helping them remain abstinent.