By 2030, the world’s youth will account for nearly a quarter of all adults living in countries where abstinence-only education is not available, according to a new report from the UN’s Population Division.
In some countries, it’s expected to reach more than a third.
This is what the report calls the “next era of education.”
The report, titled Abstinent Education, 2020, outlines an ambitious roadmap to address this looming demographic problem.
Its authors, who include the United Nations Population Fund, say they’re hoping to make education more accessible, safer, and more effective, and to bring more countries to adopt the practice.
The report was released Monday, the same day that the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on sexual violence in the developing world.
In that report, the group said the world has already witnessed more than 600,000 deaths due to sexual violence since 2012.
The UN report comes on the heels of a recent UN study that found that around 80 percent of sex-related deaths in the world are preventable, while around half of those deaths are preventative.
The WHO says that there’s an urgent need for a global commitment to ending sex-based violence in all its forms.
Abstinence-only programs have been widely criticized in the past, but this new report shows they’ve actually proven effective in reducing sexual violence.
The report says that programs such as NREGS, as the UN calls them, have proven effective at improving access to safe sex.
They also work to address social stigma associated with sex, and make sexual activity more socially acceptable.
“It’s important to point out that programs can help improve people’s health, reduce the risks of sexually transmitted infections, and provide a way for people to share their experience of sexual health, even if they may not always agree with the way they’ve been doing it,” said Dr. Anne-Christine Pouget, director of the UN Population Division, in a press release.
“This is particularly important because most people don’t know the prevalence of sexual violence, and we don’t have the data to assess the effectiveness of these programs.”
The UN also found that there are significant benefits to abstinence-based education, including reducing the stigma associated.
“We know that in some countries and communities, these programs are a way to reduce stigma and promote respect and trust,” said Poulet.
“They also have an important social and political role to play in preventing and responding to sexual abuse.”
The study also found the benefits of sex education can be shared, with a significant boost in education attainment, lower rates of HIV infection, and better physical and mental health.
In a country such as the Philippines, where the number of sexual partners is more than three times the world average, education is a key factor.