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Friday, 12 March 2010

American College of Pediatricians endorses abstinence education

Here is some good news. The American College of Pediatricians has issued an excellent statement on Abstinence Education. The statement begins:
The American College of Pediatricians strongly endorses abstinence-until-marriage sex education and recommends adoption by all school systems in lieu of “comprehensive sex education". This position is based on “the public health principle of primary prevention – risk avoidance in lieu of risk reduction,” upholding the “human right to the highest attainable standard of health.”1

By every measure, adolescent sexual activity is detrimental to the well-being of all involved, especially young women, and society at large.
The statement addresses not only physical but also psychological and societal concerns related to early sexual activity and emphasises the importance of the role of parents.

As Catholics we would want to promote not only education for abstinence but the positive virtue of chastity. Nevertheless, I think that such a concern should not detract from the welcome leadership given by this group of medics and their sound analysis of a problem that faces us even more acutely in the UK. Their approach is applicable to all schools, not just "faith schools" and is a great deal more positive than the acceptance of a limited permission to include a "Catholic ethos" when presenting a "balanced view".
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