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Persuasive Essay On Sexual Education

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Teenagers have sex; it is an uncomfortable, unavoidable fact. What can be changed, however, is how we go about it. In the United States, nearly 50% of high school students report being sexually active, as well as over 60% of high school seniors. (Conklin). Sexual education in the United States is lacking, and it’s taking its toll on teenagers. Teaching adolescents how to be safe and how to take care of themselves is the least we can do. What is most often being taught is abstinence-only sexual education, which is education focused on preventing sexual activity. Abstinence often tells teenagers to simply wait until marriage, and often places a stigma on the ones who don’t. By referring to the act of sexual activity of something akin to a paper being wadded up, or something becoming dirty and torn, it gives off the idea that if you have sex, you’re essentially becoming a lesser, unclean person. That ideology is especially harmful for sexual abuse victims, as well as anyone who decides to have sex anyway. As a consequence of this implanted guilt, teenagers are less likely to get tested for STIs, go to clinics for pregnancy, etc. Simply telling teenagers not to have sex and showing them slideshows of STIs are simple not effective; in a study done in south Texas by Jonathan Gelfond, the current sexual education implemented had no effect on pregnancy rates. (Gelfond). They don’t tell teenagers how to prevent pregnancy and they don’t tell teenagers how to avoid
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