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Abstinence Only Until Marriage (AOUM) programs, also known as Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) programs, are non-comprehensive, religion and values-based programs that are still widely used, and supported by government funding, in schools around the United States of America. Content of these programs include messages of misogyny, heteronormativity, and racism, among others. Existing research has indicated that sex education programs lack efficacy in prevention or reduction in teen pregnancy and STI infection. However, little research has investigated the potentially harmful impact of biased messaging to long term sexual and mental health and well-being. In this commentary, I highlight some of the messaging included in AOUM and SRA programs and suggest future research into the impact on sexual development, intimate relationships, and mental health and wellness.



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