A study done in Utah showed that one in four Utah teens had Chlamydia sometime during 2012. We need to start implementing a comprehensive sex education program that includes both abstinence and contraception.

By age 19, 70 percent of Americans have had intercourse. A multitude of studies show that abstinence-only programs increase the rate of teens having sex and the rate of those teens not using any form of contraception. Our state legislature is working on a bill that requires schools teach abstinence-only, or drop their sex education program altogether.

A survey showed that while 80 percent of parents talk to their teens about relationships and their own values, only 60 percent are talking to their teens about contraception. The other 40 percent learn from peers or the Internet, and neither is dependable.

So while STD rates continue to climb, the Utah option is abstinence-only or nothing at all? A 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control found that 39.8 percent of those that were sexually active did not use a contraceptive the last time they had sex. That is the same 40 percent referred to above. And we wonder why 9.5 million new cases of STDs occur between the ages of 15-24. We need to stop pretending that it doesn’t happen and do something to protect our youth.

Brittanny Christensen