A Pediatrician Perspective on SRAE:

Research Evidence, Clinical Experience, and Emerging Approaches. 

Five members of the American College of Pediatricians have prepared the following resource, A Pediatrician Perspective on SRAE: Research Evidence, Clinical Experience and Emerging Approaches: Dr. Joe Zanga, Dr. Tom Benton, Dr Nick Yates, and Dr. Jill Simons. Irene Ericksen, a scientist with the Institute for Research and evaluation (IRE), a friend of the ACPeds, and co-author of the ACPeds position statement on School-Based Sex Education in the United States.

This resource discusses the ACPeds support for Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) in Schools in lieu of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). As pediatricians who advocate the Best for Children, we know that only the primary public health principle of risk avoidance optimally protects youth against all possible physical, mental, social and emotional consequences of non-marital sexual activity. 

A landmark new study from IRE supports the ACPeds’ position with research evidence. Irene Ericksen, the lead author of the publication, provided data from the recently published report. It was a review of 120 of the strongest, most up to date studies of school-based sex education worldwide and spanned 30 years of sex education research. The authors found that claims of CSE success are based on questionable criteria for effectiveness.

So, they applied credible criteria to measure program effectiveness, and found that there was little evidence of effectiveness for school based CSE.

In fact, none of the CSE programs in US schools reduced teen pregnancy or STDs or increased consistent condom use 12 months after the program, for the target population, without producing other negative effects. On the other hand, SRAE in schools looks to perform better than CSE, showing higher rates of effectiveness. This data offers much validation and encouragement to those teaching SRAE.

The presentation concludes with Dr. Zanga’s discussion on the correlation between adolescent pregnancy and Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs. He stresses the importance of the protective factors of Resilience, and how we can all play a role in helping foster more resilience in youth.  

The American College of Pediatricians presents this evidence-based research on what is Best for Children when it comes to preventing adolescent pregnancy. The presentation PowerPoint will be available on the ACPeds website as a primary resource supporting SRAE education.  

Resources:

A Pediatrician Perspective on SRAE
Research Evidence, Clinical Experience, and Emerging Approaches
ACPeds supports Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) in Schools in lieu of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE).
Sex Education in the Home and the School
Resources
ACPeds recognizes the teaching of Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) as the optimal lifestyle for all youth. Here are some resources to aid parents, educators, and policymakers on the topic of sex education for youth.
School-based Sex Education In the United States
ACPeds Position Statement
CSE programs in America’s schools have not demonstrated long-term effectiveness at increasing sexual abstinence among adolescents.