Argument: Abstinence-only correctly responds to an epidemic of STDs
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Robert Rector. "The Effectiveness of Abstinence Education Programs in Reducing Sexual Activity Among Youth". Heritage. 8 Apr. 2002 - "The nation is experiencing an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases that is steadily expanding. In the 1960s, the beginning of the "sexual revolution," the dominant diseases related to sexual activity were syphilis and gonorrhea. Today, there are more than 20 widespread STDs, infecting an average of more than 15 million individuals each year.1 Two-thirds of all STDs occur in people who are 25 years of age or younger.2 Each year, 3 million teens contract an STD; overall, one-fourth of sexually active teens have been afflicted.3
There is no cure for sexually transmitted viral diseases such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes, which take their toll on people throughout life. Other common viral STDs are the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)--the leading viral STD, with 5.5 million cases reported each year,4 and the cause of nearly all cases of cervical cancer that kill approximately 4,800 women per year5 --and Chlamydia trachomatis, which is associated with pelvic inflammatory disease that scars the fallopian tubes and is the fastest growing cause of infertility.
Significantly, research shows that condom use offers relatively little protection (from "zero" to "some") for herpes and no protection from the deadly HPV. A review of the scientific literature reveals that, on average, condoms failed to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus--which causes the immune deficiency syndrome known as AIDS--between 15 percent and 31 percent of the time.6 It should not be surprising, therefore, that while condom use has increased over the past 25 years, the spread of STDs has likewise continued to rise.7
Letter from Congressman Lee Terry requesting support for Title V funding (and the congressmen who signed it). 21 June 2007 - Abstinence education is a public health strategy focused on risk avoidance that aims to help young people avoid exposure to harm. These programs have been shown to effectively reduce the risks of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases by teaching teenagers that saving sex for marriage and remaining faithful afterward is the best choice for health and happiness.