Each year, more than 3 million teenagers contract a sexually transmitted disease. In addition to the threat of disease and pregnancy, sexually active teens are three times more likely than teens who arenít sexually active to become depressed and to attempt suicide.
Clearly, itís in societyís interest to discourage teen sex. Teens themselves realize this: According to a Zogby poll, more than 90 percent of them say that society should teach kids to abstain from sex until they have, at least, finished high school. Parents want a stronger message: Almost nine in 10 want schools to teach youth to abstain from sex until theyíre married or in an adult relationship that is close to marriage.
Given the almost universal popularity of abstinence education, it seems strange that Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) soon will introduce legislation that would effectively abolish federal abstinence education programs. These programs supply nearly all the governmental support for teaching abstinence in U.S. schools.
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