Outside of Western Europe and the United States, sex education remained largely informal until concerns over a population explosion and the AIDS crisis prompted international organizations such as the United Nations to become involved in educating residents in Africa and South Asia particularly about contraception and prophylaxis. Although the religious opposition there has been muted, educators have often met with resistance from governments unwilling to admit that their populations were experiencing problems with AIDS, and from male traditionalists reluctant to allow women greater control over their own sexuality. Political battles in the United States, too, have affected the shape of sex education in the less-developed regions of the world, as American conservatives at the dawn of the twenty-first century attempted to use U.S. funding to shift the content of international sex education programs away from contraception and towards abstinence and a more moralistic approach to sexual relations.
The response to the AIDS crisis once again underlined the general tendency to justify sex education as disaster prevention in response to diseases or other “epidemics,” such as teenage pregnancy. Throughout the history of sex education, adults in the West have generally treated adolescent sexuality as existing in a different world from its grown-up version, blaming hormones or the youth culture for recurring crises in adolescent sexual behavior. But youthful sexual behavior has almost always been closely tied to adult patterns of behavior: rising rates of extraple, only followed the same phenomenon among adults; the same held true for the “epidemic” thaicupid com Login of pregnancy outside of marriage in the 1970s, as pregnant teenage females followed their adult counterparts in having more children outside of wedlock. Continue reading