Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Favor Sex Education in Public Schools

Debates over sex education in schools often pit abstinence instruction against providing students information on birth control methods, but the public sees no conflict in pursuing both of these approaches — in an August 2005 Pew Forum survey, 78% favor allowing public schools to provide students with birth control information; nearly as many (76%) believe schools should teach teenagers to abstain from sex until marriage. Solid majorities in every major religious group say schools should be allowed to provide students with information on birth control methods. But a sizeable minority of white evangelical Protestants (30%) is opposed.White evangelicals also are among the most supportive of having public schools teach teenagers to abstain from sex until marriage. Seculars express the greatest reservations about schools promoting abstinence; 62% support that approach, while roughly a third (34%) are opposed.Read More