Abstinence-Only Programs: Harmful to Women & Girls
What Abstinence-Only Programs Are:
To advance its far-right agenda, the federal government is providing over $200 million a year in funding for abstinence-only programs. These programs teach that sex outside marriage, at any age and under any circumstances, is inherently dangerous and wrong. This abstinence-only message provides insufficient and often false information about contraception, disease prevention, and abortion, promotes regressive sex stereotyping and stigmatizes homosexuality.
Why Legal Momentum Opposes Abstinence-Only:
While many organizations have denounced abstinence-only programs as harmful, few have focused on the specific impact these programs have on young women. Legal Momentum's work emphasizes how abstinence-only programs adversely affect women and girls. First, these programs censor truthful and practical information about sexuality, contraception, and abortion. This censorship particularly subjects women and girls to the risk of unintended pregnancy and a greater risk of contracting STIs. Second, the curricula promote damaging sex stereotypes and gender bias that threaten women's autonomy.
We have extensively analyzed the most commonly used abstinence-only programs to document their gender stereotypes and factual inaccuracies. We continue to work with experts in the field of sexual health to examine the effects of abstinence-only programs on girls and women and to advocate for comprehensive sexuality education.
The Truth Behind Abstinence-Only Programs
Federal Funding for Abstinence-Only Programs
Abstinence-Only Program Profiles
Abstinence-Only Curricula Quotes