Other forms of sex education may work too, though experts call for more studies.
A new study shows for the first time that a sex education class emphasizing abstinence only – ignoring moral implications of sexual activity – can reduce sexual activity by nearly a third in 12- and 13-year-olds compared with students who received no sex education.
Other forms of sex education also worked, however, reducing sexual activity by about 20% and reducing multiple sexual partners by about 40%, according to the study reported Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
None of the classes appeared to influence the use of condoms or other birth control when the students did have sex. The children thus remained at risk of pregnancy and disease.