The Internationally renowned Cochrane review of school-based interventions on sex education was released last week. The review combined peer reviewed data from 55,000 young people from around the world including Europe, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. The review found that sex education programmes don’t work, do not reduce teenage pregnancies and do not reduce STIs.
This is the first review and meta-analysis featuring measurable biological outcomes. The current sexual health strategy for reducing teenage pregnancies is based on three false assumptions first, that contraception is safe, and secondly that youth will use it, and thirdly that abstinence is impossible. Previous studies have produced different results because they were dependent on young people reporting on their behaviours, which is notoriously prone to report bias.
Will the government now replace the failed comprehensive sex education programme with a programme that promotes chastity?