The Politics of “Comprehensive Sexuality Education”

By Jokin de Irala, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., Alfonso Osorio, Ph.D., Carlos Beltramo, Ph.D., Silvia Carlos, Ph.D., Cristina López del Burgo, M.D., Ph.D. | April 11, 2014

The paper describes the characteristics of the “Sex Education Establishment:” an array of influential and international organizations, global authorities such as UNICEF, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as powerful and diffuse associations and/or donor agencies such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), CARE, the Population Council, etc.

These institutions create policy guidelines and fund initiatives worldwide to carry out their strategic priorities. Sometimes called “best practices,” these priority interventions are presented as neutral, factual information but their track record is often questionable.

As opposed to the so called “comprehensive” sex education programs, the “abstinence centered” programs are evidence-based, effective, less patronizing to youth and rely on their ability of making free and optimal decisions regarding their sexuality if they are thoroughly and holistically informed without a priori assuming they will not be able to make certain choices. For these reasons, abstinence centered sex education programs are the preferred choice of millions of parents, educators, researchers and youth around the world and can be appropriately defined as truly “holistic sexual education programs.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of C-FAM.