Teaching Consent in Your Classroom

Disclaimer: We acknowledge that there are many different words that individuals use to describe themselves after experiencing sexual assault. In this article, we use the term ‘survivor’ for the sake of consistency. We acknowledge that there are many different ways of processing sexual violence, and we believe each individual person should choose the language that…

The Issue With Abstinence-Only Programs

Why Don’t Abstinence-Only Programs Work? Abstinence-only programs (also known as “abstinence-only-until-marriage” programs) teach students to refrain from sexual activity until they are married. While these programs may have good intentions, they tend to exclude discussion of contraceptive methods, non-heterosexual relationships, gender identity, and abortion. Evidence has shown that young people have sexual experiences regardless of…

Overview of Virginity Pledges

Virginity pledges are typically taken by teenagers and young adults who promise to remain abstinent from sexual activity until marriage. Programs promoting virginity pledges began within fundamentalist Christian circles in the United States, but the idea has gained traction in the mainstream, and a number of nonreligious sources (including some public school sex education programs)…

Abstinence

Abstinence, also referred to as celibacy, is the choice to avoid participating in sexual behaviors. Since the term “sexual behavior” is defined differently by various people, societies, cultures, religions, and regions, it is difficult to draw an absolute line distinguishing which acts are considered “sexual behaviors.” For example, some people view abstinence as avoiding all…