Majority of Americans believe sex education should teach abstinence

Sex education should promote abstinence, more than seven in ten US adults believe, according to a new survey.

Over 1,200 people from a variety of faiths and none, across all 50 states, were interviewed.

It was found that 71 per cent believe the primary message of sex education should be ‘one that uses practical skills to reinforce waiting for sex’.

Sex education

The survey aimed to evaluate how “Americans see their responsibility to educate and equip teens” about sex, with researchers noting that 77 per cent of parents with children under 18 “strongly believe sex education should support a message of waiting”.

It was conducted by the US-based Barna group, which has conducted research into understanding cultural trends on attitudes and values since 1984.

Religious belief was identified as the most powerful factor influencing adults’ views of sex education.

In the study, 94 per cent of Evangelical Christians said they were supportive of sex education classes promoting abstinence. However, this figure drops to 57 per cent amongst ‘millennials’.

Relationships and Sex Education

In England, an amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill gives Education Secretary Justine Greening the power to legislate for Relationships Education and a secondary school subject called Relationships and Sex Education (RSE).

RSE would include teaching on “sex, sexual health and sexuality”. The Government states that parents would retain the right to withdraw their children from RSE but the details have not yet been set out.

Following the announcement of the new subject, The Christian Institute said teaching could “expose young children to concepts that they and their parents fundamentally disagree with for religious or philosophical reasons”.

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