MTV's social initiative joins forces with Time

NEW YORK: MTV's yearlong pro-social initiative Fight For Your Rights: Protect Yourself and Time magazine have joined forces to address the issue of teen sexuality and abstinence-only sex education in schools across the US.

An MTV/Time magazine poll of 1,061 young people between the ages of 13-18 demonstrated an overwhelming concern about issues pertaining to their sexual health. In addition to discovering that sexual health is young people’s most important issue, the poll uncovered the following about teens, sex and how they want to get information about it.

Young people want information about safe sex and contraception in school, but say they aren’t getting it: 84 per cent believe that sex ed in school should include information about birth control and safe sex. 63 per cent said sex ed in their school did not cover everything they needed to know about sex. 73 per cent want condoms distributed in schools. Young people do not believe that comprehensive sex education will encourage them to have sex: 74 per cent say that learning about contraception and safe sex in schools would either have no impact on their decision, or would actually make them less likely to have sex. And contrary to the growing trend of federal funding for abstinence-only programmes, most young people oppose it:

MTV and Time will explore both sides of this controversy and the results of the joint poll in two separate reports. Time's education writer Jodie Morse will look at a trend in the abstinence world: programmes that tackle the issue from a medical rather than values-based perspective.

Fight For Your Rights: Protect Yourself is the latest instalment in MTV’s Emmy-Award winning Fight For Your Rights pro-social initiative. Developed in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, the year-long campaign focuses primarily on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and unintended pregnancy. It will include special programming; public service messages; one of the most comprehensive sexual health websites for youth; grassroots events and advocacy opportunities; and an extensive resource and referral service, including a free sexual health guide.

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