Sex Education In Schools
For years there has been a debate between parents and guardians on whether there should be sex education in schools. Some are totally for it and some and completely against it. Many good things can come out of having sex ed in schools, most people just don’t want to see those good things. If people don’t start realizing that sex is apart of life then this debate will go on for forever.
Only two out of three public school districts have a policy mandating sex education ( AIG, Guttmacher). Many states governments and communities debated whether sex education curricula should include information on the things you need to know about sex as well as abstinence. 86% of schools require the policy of sex ed to promote abstinence. 51% require that abstinence be taught as the preferred option but also teach the out come of sex like, protection against unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. 35% require abstinence to be taught as the only potion for unmarried people. Only 14% have a good policy that teaches about both abstinence and contraception as a part of a more broad program designed to prepare teens to become sexually healthy adults.
STD’s rose dramatically between 1988 and 1995 because teachers teaching grades 7-12 that abstinence is the only was of preventing pregnancies and any sexually transmitted diseases. Nearly three in four present abstinence as the preferred ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STD’s. Teachers today are more likely to promote abstinence, STDs, and resisting peer pressure to have sex, but are less likely to talk about more controversial subjects. They feel uncomfortable telling there students that there is also birth control, abortion, condoms and sexual orientation out there that can also prevent pregnancies and getting any form of an STD. (AFLA)
Nine out of ten teachers believe that students should be informed with more information on sex and not just abstinence. Half of the teachers believe that contraception should be taught in grades as early and grade seven some even earlier. A vast majority think that sex ed courses should cover where to go for birth control, information about abortion, the correct way to use a condom, and sexual orientation. Far from what teachers want actually doesn’t cover these topics. It makes them upset but they cant really do much about the consent of the child’s parent or guardian.
What kids know about sex is mainly through their peers and unreliable sources. Teachers and parents might as we be more open about sex and its consequences. They should have open discussions and address sexual health issues like sexually transmitted diseases, abusive and healthy relationships, and the benefits of using contraception. The reality is that kids aren’t practicing abstinence anymore. We should still be teaching about abstinence but we should also be informing kids about contraception’s. 70 percent of American teenagers at the age of 19 are sexually active ( Guttmacher Institute). Less than 1 percent of middle schools and 5 percent of high schools make condoms available for students. They think that distribution of such things as condoms and birth control will makes adolescents want to have sex more, but its is a better way to limit teenage pregnancies. Nearly half of teens from the ages of 15 through 19 have been reported having sex at least once, and almost 750,000 of them a year have become pregnant.
Sex ed in schools should start being taught in middle school. Seventh grade is the period when adolescents are starting to experience in liking one another. Some parents don’t know how to handle how to speak to there children about sex and contraceptive options they get embarrassed or just tell there kids to just say no and go with abstinence. Sixty-seven percent of adults favor the distribution of contraceptives in schools. There has been so many teen pregnancies and STDs involving sexually active teens because they don’t know where to go for birth control or even condoms. If schools were more open with sex it think it would prevent a lot of unintended pregnancies and STDs. Teens would have a place to go for information and support (Maudlon).
Students report that they want more information about sexual and reproductive health issues than they are receiving in school. Approximately half of students in 7th grade through 12th grade report needing more information about what to do in the event of rape or sexual assault, how to get tested for HIV and other STDs. They want more factual information on HIV, AIDS, and STDs. They want to understand how to talk with a partner about birth control and STDs. Two in five also want more factual information on birth control, how to use and where to get birth control. They want to know how to handle the pressures in having sex. Yet a big percentage report that these topics are not covered in their most recent sex education course, or that they are not covered in a more depth way. Students whose most recent sex education course used an abstinence only approach knew less about pregnancy and disease prevention than were those whose most recent sex education was more comprehensive about sex (Kaiser).
Young people can be exposed to a wide range of attitudes and beliefs in relation to sex and sexuality. These sometimes appear very confusing to them. Some health messages emphasis the risks and dangers associated with sex and some promotes the idea that being sexually active makes a person more educated and mature with knowing about sex. Sex and sexuality are sensitive subjects for adolescents to talk about therefore young people and sex educators have very strong views on what attitudes people hold. Young people are very interested in the moral and cultural differences that binds sex and sexuality (Avert). Sex ed teachers often welcome opportunities to talk about issues where people have strong views, like abortion, sex before marriage, lesbian and gay issues and contraception and birth control. It is important to remember that talking in a balanced way about differences in opinion does not promote one set of views over another. Part of exploring and understanding cultural, religious and moral views is finding out that you can agree to disagree.
People need to realize that sex education seeks both to reduce the risks of the negative outcomes from sex like unwanted or unplanned pregnancies and any infection of a sexually transmitted disease, and to enhance the quality of a relationship. It is also about helping teens develop the ability to make decisions over their entire lifetime. Sex education that works is sex education that contributes to their students great information on sex. If sex education is going to be effective it needs to include opportunities for teens to develop skills. The kinds of skills teens develop as part of sex education are linked to more general life-skills. Being able to communicate, listen, negotiate, and to ask for sources of help and give the advice that are useful life skills that can be applied in your sexual relationships. Effective sex education develops teens skills in negotiation, decision-making, assertion and listening. Other important skills include being able to recognize pressures from other people and try to resist them. Sex ed that works, also helps equip young people with the skills to be able to see the difference between accurate and inaccurate information (Wellings, K).
Teens also need to have information about the physical and emotional changes that involve with puberty, sexual reproduction, fertilization, and about sexually transmitted diseases. They also need to know about contraception and birth control including what contraceptives are, how they work, how people use them, how they decide what to use or not, and how they can be obtained. In terms of information about relationships they need to know about what kinds of relationships there are out there. Teens need to know about love and commitment, marriage and partnership. They also need to know the law relating to sexual behavior and relationships, as well as the range of religious and cultural views on sex and sexuality. In addition, teens should be provided with information about abortion, sexuality, and confidentiality, as well as about the range of sources of advice and support that is available in the community and nationally.
The problem of the teachings of sex education isn’t even just in America anymore its all around the world. Several Indian states have suspended sex education provided by the school. It has caused a lot of controversy and an emotional dispute between those who say it will reduce the spread of HIV by promoting safer sex. More than one-third of new HIV infections in India are being reported in the age group of 15 to 29. This fact has led people involved in combating the spread of the virus to conclude that Indian teenagers and young people are not really informed about safe sex practices. So the National AIDS Control Organization and the Education Ministry designed a sex education program to be taught to high school students across the country. The designers hoped the program would become a major help in preventing new HIV infections. The project has run into rough weather in a country where the word “sex” is still largely taboo. The educational authorities themselves gave an indication of the sensitivity surrounding the word, by calling the project an “Adolescence Education Program.” (Anjana, Pasricha )
I just don’t understand why people are so afraid of the word sex. Sex is a big part of everyone’s lives. People are taking this way to far. Teens need to learn about sex and the right things to do.
Most teenagers are mortified to open up and speak about such private issues with adults, so leaving it up to the teachers, who may be just as reluctant to bring sex up, leaves too much to chance. People of these new reforms claim that existing sex ed classes were far from adequate and barely provided teens with the info that they needed. So eliminating classes altogether solves this problem how? It doesn’t solve anything, teens need to know these things.
While we all know that sex ed can range from the mechanical or boring information like the search for knowledge on where the right body organs are. The fact is that, for that period of time, the opportunity arose for kids to ask questions. Most kids are to nervous to ask other people about such embarrassing subjects. Whether squirming in their seat, giggling, or pretending to be mature about it all, make no mistake about it when it comes to sex, kids pay attention. The only reason why is because they want to know about sex. They are curious in their stage they are in. Whether you think their ready or not they are still curious and still want to know about sex.
More and more teenagers are having sex more than ever. Rates of STIs are on the rise in the age group between 15 and 24. AIDS continues to claim lives at alarming rates and teenage pregnancy is a real problem with young teens today. How does eliminating a vital source of important information for them constitute a step forward? Some people claim that it’s the parents responsibility to teach responsible sexual behavior to their children. We all know that in most cases that’s wishful thinking. Teaching kids just to say no and stick with abstinence doesn’t amount to much when the end result of failing to educate teens is uninformed and possibly life-threatening in their decision making.
Of course, with the amount of information teenagers get taught with today, we sometimes have no way of knowing if any of it sinks in, but even if only a little information in stuck in their heads it could really help change things in this world.
I think taking sex education to the next level is just what this world needs to help stop this epidemic of young people dying and becoming parents. If we really start to educate these kids and give them as much help as possible it could really change a lot in this world. Distributing condoms and birth control is one of the best ideas to give to teens. If they knew they had somewhere to go to get protection and not feel embarrassed about it they would use it. Having those things in school could be one of the smartest things the school districts could do. Teens spend half their lives at school why not get the things that could protect them there to. Having better sex education in schools will help teens feel more comfortable and help them be more safe about sex.