Sex education has been a hot debate topic for decades with people coming down on all sides of the argument. Should schools have sex ed, which is a class or session that educates kids on sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and the risk of pregnancy? Should they instead focus on abstinence from sexual intercourse instead of education on making teenage intercourse safe? Which is right? Both? Neither? Well, according to many worldwide studies, sex ed isn’t as effective as many would hope. This is especially true in the case of traditional sex education and how it relates to teen pregnancy numbers.
However, controversy arises when the discussion as to what the proper method of teaching sexual education should be. In the school system of the United States sex education is taught in two main forms: abstinence-only sex education, which focuses on abstaining from sexual activity prior to marriage and does not provide contraceptive knowledge, and comprehensive sex education, which focuses on sexual health as a whole including knowledge about contraceptives and how to avoid STDs. Currently the only federally funded programs implemented in public schools are abstinence-only. But does Abstinence-only sex education work? In order to provide an answer this paper will discuss the basic principles and practices which constitute abstinence-only sex education, the proponents argument for abstinence-only sex education and how abstinence-only education affects teen pregnancy and STD
Sexual intercourse is considered to be between two people that love each other very much. It is romanticized in movies and books, and is alluded to everywhere. As the age for sexual experimentation grow lower many question whether or not have sexual education in our school systems. Many argue that by educating the children at younger ages about sex, it promote the early experimentation. Also that it is not the school 's job to teach about sexualatity and that what they would teach would be against their religion, beliefs, or values, but should promote abstinence. Others argue that the experimental rate is grong and if teens will have sex it is better to educate them on how to be safe. They also arguer that sex is everywhere and children will learn about sex in some way shape or form, whether it be from friends, family, or the media.
Sexual education teaches adolescents about the use of birth control, their bodies, STD’s, and pregnancy. Due to the awareness of sexual education, adolescents are more careful about sexual intercourse. The pregnancy rate has reached the lowest in modern era between 1990-2010. It declined to 51% pregnancies per 1000 females ages 14-19 to 57.4%. This is the lowest recorded since 1973. Sexual education was not offered in schools until 1983 and many people had close to no knowledge about the options. Even though teens today are aware of their options today, they do not take proper precautions.
What if a rapist was coming at someone? Do kids know what to do besides lie on the ground and cry? What if a teenager had an unplanned pregnancy? Do they know their options about abortion or adoption or keeping the baby? Will young adults know the results of their choices? Sexual education teaches all of the following, and kids in the curriculum are more likely to defend themselves in a plot when they were approached by a stranger (“Teaching children in schools…”). Sexual education teaches students about sexual health, abstinence, and information such as contraception, condoms, unplanned pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases (“Sex Education Programs”). Comprehensive sexual
Sex education classes, whether or not they clash with religious or parental teachings, teach a basic and scientific background of sex, what bodily changes are, and how to protect oneself from the dangers of sex. Statistics show that sex education can reverse current trends and prepare children from the dangers of sex by educating them about STDs, pregnancy, and so on. The United States’ statistics on teenagers and young adults are negatively alarming. “Approximately 10% of all births in the U.S. occur in teenagers and 9.5 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diagnosed in teenagers and young adults each year (Kaneshiro B.).” Unfortunately, there is a lack of courses aimed at teaching America’s youth about sex and the inherent dangers that they cannot foresee while there is a surplus of television shows such as, Teen Moms, promoting sex and pregnancy.
In today’s society, teenagers are becoming sexually active at an earlier age. Consequently, sixty-six percent of American high school students have reported partaking in this activity by their senior year – sex (Masland) (SC#8). Because of this promiscuous behavior among teens, there have been alarming rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and even unintentional pregnancies (Masland) (BE#3). In the United States, high schools usually decide whether or not to implement sexual education as a course (Sexuality) (BE#9). While schools may encourage abstinence of sex until marriage, most teenagers will need to know safe sexual practices before they are married. If the teenager is not informed on how to keep themselves and their partner safe during sex, major consequences could ensue. If high schools required a course about sexual education, teenagers would know the implications and consequences of engaging in unsafe
In the early 1960’s the controversial issue of sex education started to become a more prevalent conversation among educators and parents alike when the Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of oral contraceptives(Szustek, 2009). Though the topic was previously being discussed as early as mid to late 19th century, it was not deemed completely necessary or an appropriate topic for school aged children prior to this point. In the United States more than 750,000 girls between the ages of 15-19 experience unexpected pregnancies annually and another 19 million of all newly reported Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) cases are young adults between the ages of 15-25(Boonstra, 2013). The argument of whether or not sex education should be taught to students is moot since according to a recent survey by National Public Radio about 93% of adults believe sex education is needed (Anonymous, 2004). The more pressing issue is the content in which is to be presented to students. There are conflicting groups that argue the validity of the methods used to convey the importance of the apparently sensitive subject; one side of the divide are the supporters of abstinence only education which presents a very singular approach and on the other is those that believe in the importance of comprehensive sex education which explores a variety methods of sexual safety.
Since comprehensive sex education has little funding but a plethora of support, it could be alleviated through advocates spreading awareness through the community through social media and communication to enlighten individuals on the topic. Therefore, developing a potential curriculum could become possible for local school boards to approve. Many supporters of comprehensive sex education believe that it should start from kindergarten until 12th grade. By doing so, instructors can use behavioral goals and age-appropriate language that is understandable and coherent for the respective age group. Also, there is a large amount of time to cover the necessary topics on sexuality, reproduction, sexual organs since this curriculum would occur for nearly thirteen years of the student’s life. As mentioned earlier, the state and school board direct the type
Sexual Education suggests to deliver the knowledge, standards and procedures that allow the implementation of human rights, the satisfactory enactment in our personal lives, inspire a thoughtful change in civic values, ethical attitudes, and active oppositions which arouse the personal development and social combination of pre-teenagers and teenagers, and subsequently prevent the transmission of HIV, undesirable pregnancies, and sexual violence. In general it must breakdown all the ties between stereotypes and mythologies about sexuality.
Understanding the issues that come with sexual education in the classroom is the first step in being a comprehensive sex education advocate. To this day, we see classrooms in middle and high schools preaching about abstinence, shaming children and not being able to give proper, thorough, and informative resources and guidelines on how to approach healthy, body-positive, accessible information about sexual activity. The ideal image abstinence curriculum advocates are hoping for is all adolescents will not have sex prior to marriage, that there will be no STI’s flowing from person A to B, and that the risk of unplanned teen pregnancies will just disappear. The realistic comprehensive approach to sex education states that we are aware that no matter how many ‘do not have sex’ programs we fund and promote, there will always be the handful or more of the population who won’t follow through.
The debate over whether comprehensive sexual education should be taught in has been a controversial issue in the United States for over a decade. The United States has more than double the teenage pregnancy rate of any western industrialized country. Recent statistics has shown that more than a million teenagers become pregnant annually. In addition, teenagers have the highest rates of sexually transmitted disease of any age group. In fact, one in four young people contract a sexually transmitted disease by the age of twenty-one. Comprehensive sexual education in educational institutions is crucial as a means of combating the alarming rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies amongst teenagers.
In life, high school especially, sexual education is very important and can truly impact a person’s life. Improper education on sex can lead to many life-changing mistakes. These blunders can be avoided with proper knowledge. Although students should be encouraged to remain abstinent, they should still be taught about contraception and practicing safe sex. With proper sexual education, abstinence rates will increase and the numbers of teenage parents will decrease.
uring our last class, we learned about four different activism project ideas. Of the four, two focused on sexual education of young adults, one on sexual violence on college campuses, and the last about increasing abortion access. All four projects were feminist in that they all had components of increasing women’s equality. Both sexual education programs as well as the project on sexual violence prevention would work to benefit women socially. The Abortion Access program covers all three grounds of feminism: the program would advocate for the social, political, and economic equality of women.
Sexual education is first and foremost related to sex and sexuality issues. So in order to better understand the case of sexual education, it is important to review the development of the concepts sex and sexuality within the social sciences and humanities.