Who would have thought that comprehensive sex ed could result in kids making better decisions?
It's not like we have ample amounts of data that support that point.
Today, we have yet more, this time from Wyoming:
A Wyoming Department of Health study says that the state’s teen birth rate has dropped every year for the last six years.
In 2008 Wyoming had about 50 births for every 1000 teen girls. That rate dropped to about 35 births in 2013. Some counties have seen even more dramatic decreases.
Linda Thyfault is the family planning director at the Laramie County Health Department’s Title-Ten clinic. That county saw 165 teen births in 2006, and just 96 last year. Thyfault says her clinic teaches sex-ed classes in the school district and she believes that’s part of the falling birth rate.
"They get information on all the birth control methods, we talk about STDs, we talk about how to access services at the clinic, we talk about postponing sexual activity, the importance of abstinence, and the importance of them being the person to make the decision," she said.
Thyfault says it’s possible teens are even having less sex, because they’re more informed.
"Knowledge is never bad. Knowing everything doesn’t influence you, it just gives you more power to make a decision that’s appropriate for you."
When we inform kids, and trust them to make decisions, who would have thought they would actually make good decisions?
Comprehensive sex ed isn't about giving kids free license to do what they want. It's about providing them with the information they need to make the right decisions for themselves.
Sometimes that decisions is safer sex. Sometimes it is no sex. But it's a decision that should always be made by the individual in question--never forced or coerced.
And it's an approach that works.