The Report: Sex (Un)Education

The teen pregnancy is a issue considering the problems that causes to the health of the young mother and the child, and adding the dropout rate and economic problems it causes is a problem recognized all over the world. The teen pregnancy rate is high on developing countries, with a big exception: the U.S.A. have the highest rate in the developed countries, and this was sowhn also by our research on Google. That is the reason why our research focused there very soon.
That led us to Abstinence Only, the controversial education system adopted in many states and still in the centre of the debate for the methods and funding.
The followed path is meant for understanding the problematic aspects while looking at the big picture: this allows to place the problem in its context and to discover how it works. Starting from our research question, ìHow does the debate on Abstinence Only develop?î we decided the tools to use or how to proceed when we couldnít find tools for our needs. Starting from an analysis of the topic and the actors who debate on it, we focused on how this theme is discussed, with the semantic and social analysis. The last step allowed us to place this controversy in its cultural and political context, completing the overview.
This allowed us to discover how the main problem seems to revolve around the topic of birth control, or better yet, the lack of mention of any mean of birth control during the lessons of Abstinence Only, where they teach only about being abstinent. This, and the programs, are not always clear about their methods and the information given. Around these main topics many others surface, creating a prismatic controversy that touches cultural, political and economic issues.

The Website: Used toothbrushes, chewed up gums and education

The research allowed us to highlight one of the main themes related to Abstinence only, which is the shaming that happens during the lessons. The site wants to become a channel to switch the current debate: instead of discussing if itís right or wrong teaching abstinence, we feel it could be better at least trying to improve the current situation. We gathered the articles and opinions found during the research to provide a general idea of the consequences, placing them in their context, to allow the reader to form their own opinion on the matter.
This is not meant to be a judment of the Abstinence Only itself, but a call for improving it, since many sites against this education claimed that the shaming, along with the distorted information, is one of the main reasons why they are against it. Considering how much this topic influences the life in school of many children, we find this a very important topic and hope this will lead to an improved debate, which contemplates the opinion of the concerned people.

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Alberto Boscagli
Sara Pizzetti
Andrea Pracchi
Chiara Scalvi
Alessandro Tosi