Sex Education Essay

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Sex Education

Two drastic Emergency Room cases were handled in 1998 at Mary Washington Hospital. Concerned mothers brought their 12 year old daughters into the hospital thinking they were suffering from severe stomach pain or even appendicitis…both girls were actually in labor (Abstinence, 2002). The United States has the highest teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates in the Western world (Planned Parenthood, 2003). Are teens getting enough knowledge on sex and how to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies? Another heartbreaking statistic is that teenagers have the highest rate of STDs of any age group, with one in four young people contracting an STD by the age of 21 (Sex-Ed Work, 2003). Is sex education really working in school?
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Abstinence-only programs have not proven to be effective in reducing sexual activity, sexual partners, or STDs. So why ask for a raise for a program that hasn’t really proven to help keep teens safe? The main idea of Abstinence-only programs is simple…”Do it and Die.” Is sex really that bad if done safely?

Comprehensive sexuality education give teenagers the nine-yards on sexuality. Teens are taught everything from condom use, birth control use, and where to get it. In some cases teens are taught about homosexuality, heterosexuality, and abortions. Instead of teaching the negative side of sex it teaches teens that sex is a healthy, normal part of life. You learn the advantages of abstinence, but for teens who want to get involved or have already been in sexual relationships they learn how to protect themselves. Studies show that balanced programs that promote both abstinence and safer sex are most effective and allow young people to make responsible choices. In a review of 35 programs, the World Health Organization found that abstinence-only programs were less effective than programs that promoted delaying first intercourse as well as promoting safer sex practices including use of contraceptives and condoms (Advocates for Youth, 2003). So comprehensive based education gives teens enough information on both subjects to help them make the right decision. Unlike in abstinence programs, if teens
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