Initiative Description: Review of both abstinence and comprehensive sex and STD/HIV education programs. 56 studies assessed the impact of such curricula (8 that evaluated 9 abstinence programs and 48 that evaluated comprehensive programs).
Study Results: Most abstinence programs did not delay the initiation of sex and only 3 of 9 had any significant positive effects on any sexual behavior. In contrast, about two-thirds of comprehensive programs showed strong evidence that they positively affected young people’s sexual behavior, including both delaying initiation of sex and increasing condom and contraceptive use.
Reference: Kirby, D. B. (2008). The impact of abstinence and comprehensive sex and STD/HIV education programs on adolescent sexual behavior. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 5(3), 18–27. https://doi.org/10.1525/srsp.2008.5.3.18
Level of Evidence: Very Good