Abstinence-Only Sex Education Fails African American Youth

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Abstract

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) disproportionately affect U.S. African American (AA) youth. In AA faith communities, cultural practices have contributed to increased STI rates because abstinence-only-until-marriage education programs do not teach the use of condoms or birth control for preventing STIs or pregnancy. Comprehensive sex education or abstinence-plus programs have been reported to increase STI knowledge and reduce risk-taking behaviors in adolescents and young adults. Evidence supports computerized education to increase STI knowledge and decrease risky sexual behaviors of AA churchgoing youth.

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