Sex Education Programs: Definitions & Point-by-Point Comparison
Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs, sometimes called Sexual Risk Avoidance Programs, teach abstinence as the only morally correct option of sexual expression for teenagers. They usually censor information about contraception and condoms for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unintended pregnancy.
Abstinence-Centered Education—Another term normally used to mean abstinence-only programs.
Comprehensive Sex Education teaches about abstinence as the best method for avoiding STDs and unintended pregnancy, but also teaches about condoms and contraception to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy and of infection with STDs, including HIV. It also teaches interpersonal and communication skills and helps young people explore their own values, goals, and options.
Abstinence-Plus Education—Programs which include information about contraception and condoms in the context of strong abstinence messages.