Abstinence-only sex education is a form of sex education that teaches not having sex outside of marriage. It often excludes other types of sexual and reproductive health education, such as birth control and safe sex. Comprehensive sex education, by contrast, covers the use of birth control and sexual abstinence.
Evidence does not support the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education. It has been found to be ineffective in decreasing HIV risk in the developed world. It does not decrease rates of sexual activity or unplanned pregnancy when compared to comprehensive sex education.
The topic of abstinence-only education is controversial in the United States, with proponents claiming that comprehensive sex education encourages premarital sexual activity, and critics arguing that abstinence-only education is religiously motivated and that the approach has been proven ineffective and even detrimental to its own aims.