The Benefits of Sexual Education in Public Schools

2013 Words9 Pages
Sex is a predominant part of life, and that is not changing anytime soon. A common response to this is to dismiss the conversation. Instead of overlooking the problem like the majority of individuals, an inquiry into what is being taught/shown to youth is needed. Strasburger, the author of “Adolescents, Sex, and the Media: Ooooo, Baby, Baby—a Q & A” notes:
“I’ve often wondered what it would be like if we taught young people swimming the same way we teach sexuality. If we told them that swimming was an important adult activity one they will all have to be skilled at when they grow up, but we never talked with them about it. We never showed them the pool . . . but when they asked a question about how swimming felt or what it was about, they
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Sexual education teachers have to counteract thousands of hours of annual exposure to sex-saturated media in just a few hours.
In addition to the media, educators must struggle with a range of sex education programs. Courses with immensely different objectives, arrangements, time spans, and applications are frequently categorized in the general heading of sexual education. Just the terminology tossed around can be vague. The names “abstinence-only”, “abstinence-based education”, “abstinence-only-until-marriage”, and “comprehensive sexual education” programs, otherwise known as “abstinence-plus” programs, are all used and they have also been known to be called “risk-reduction”, “risk-avoidance” or “risk elimination” (Beshers 637). With unclear expressions such as this teens come out of different programs and courses thinking, for example, that having oral sex is the same as being sexually abstinent. Not only that, but sexual education has been notorious for covering many other topics besides sexual intercourse, pregnancy, and STD’s including puberty, body image, gender roles, and sexual orientation. Some programs have been known to be religious, while most are far more secular. Some courses were designed to encourage abstinence, others to improve knowledge, attitudes, and expertise of contraception. Some concentrated on avoiding STDs and others focused on circumventing pregnancies. Some focused on sexually inexperienced youth, others on the sexually
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