COLORADO SPRINGS, January 29, 2004 ( – The vast majority of American parents want their children’s sex education classes to emphasize abstinence until marriage, according to a new poll released today. The survey, conducted by Zogby International for Focus on the Family, also found that parents strongly oppose the values and messages of comprehensive sex education, a training model that assumes teens will become sexually active and, therefore, must be given easy access to condoms.

The survey of 1,008 parents of children under 17 found that sixty-eight percent of parents want schools to teach teens that individuals who remain abstinent until marriage have the best chances of marital stability and happiness. Ninety-one percent want their children to be taught that sex should be linked to the type of love and commitment found in marriage. More than 56 percent said that information about contraception should either not be taught as a subject or taught in a class separate from abstinence, such as a health or biology class. 

Dr. Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, commented on the findings saying, “It is gratifying to learn that parents agree with the President that the primary message we should give our children when it comes to sexual behavior is abstinence until marriage.”

However, a recent Heritage Foundation report found that $4.50 was spent on comprehensive sex education for every $1 spent on abstinence education. Abstinence programs were shunned by the former administration, but have received funding under the Bush administration. 

Linda Klepacki, manager of the abstinence department at Focus on the Family said, “This poll illustrates that the people most concerned about the health and emotional well-being of America’s children—their mums and dads—recognize that abstinence is the only surefire way to protect their kids.”

With files from


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