Webster’s Dictionary defines sex education as the “instruction of issues relating to human sexuality, including emotional relations and responsibilities, human sexual anatomy, sexual activity, sexual reproduction, age of consent, reproductive health, reproductive rights, safe sex, birth control and sexual abstinence” (Merriam Webster).
In 1964, Dr. Mary Calderone, medical director for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, founded the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) found that young teens through adults lacked accurate information about sex, sexuality, and sexual health (SIECUS, 2011a). In 1990, SIECUS convened the National Guidelines Task Force, a panel of experts that built a framework within local communities that would design an effective curriculum and/or evaluate existing programs. The result was the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education — Kindergarten — 12th Grade published in 1991. More editions were published in 1996 and 2004 (NGTF, 2004). In today’s modern world, the big controversy is if Sex Education should be in schools.
Sexual Education is needed in public school districts because all teenagers are not informed of the consequences that can occur if they make the decision to have sex. Sex Education can clarify all misconceptions teens may have and has the ability to provide a clear perspective about sex, STDs, and raise the awareness of the prevention of teen pregnancy and STDs to the teen/pre teen population.
In public school districts, all of the staff and courses taken play an important role in basic education to growing children. The staff of all schools have an influence on kids from when they’re five to a grown adult. As societies have come to realize how much influence the schools have on their children, there has become an increasing importance in the need for Sex Education. It is considered important for societies that most individuals are well-informed about sex, sexual abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, prevention of pregnancy and STDs, abstinence, and other related topics. Many communities have been encouraging the need for Sex Education in schools.
Research has shown while teen pregnancies are on a decline across the nation, teens are having more sex and having more STIs than ever before. A recent report by the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is that sex education is not happening early enough. The CDC study reveals that nearly 15 percent of 15-year-olds have had sex, and 23 percent of teens didn’t use protection when they lost their virginity.
Among teen girls who were sexually experienced, 83 percent told interviewers that they didn’t get formal sex education until after they’d lost their virginity. Without any sexual education, teens go ahead and do what they think is a “fun” or “cool” idea without being knowledgeable of the precautions they should be taking. Which results in many diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
Many students’ parents and/or guardians may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed talking to their children openly about such topics, so some teenagers may not get the information they need. Talking about sexuality and such things has never been an easy topic for people especially for certain cultures. Some parents simply choose not to participate in the sexuality education of their children, because they may believe they don’t have the ability to provide the quality and adequate information due to lack of knowledge or the inability to explain what they do not know, or simply feelings awkward or uncomfortable.
According to the Greathead 2002 study, parents are the primary sources that children obtain their information from. If the information the children receive is not accurate, it increases the chance of pregnancies or a STD. Additionally, according to the Harrison 2000 study, he found that a large number of children receive misinformation about sexual information or that the information they receive is very little and not direction information.
Also looking to the O’Sullivan 2006 study, parents do not want to admit that their children are growing up and feel threatened by their children’s sexual development, Thus; finding it difficult to discuss sexual-related issues with their children, Therefore; causing the need of sexual education in schools to spread awareness to students about sexual related issues that is not provided by parents. In that case, all students can be informed and cautious when it comes to sexual related activities and the cases of STDs and teen pregnancies can decrease.
The hard truth today we face is, a large number of teens are sexually active. According to the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey, in 2015, 41 percent of high school students had had sex at least once. Eleven percent had had four or more sexual partners. Fifty-seven percent of sexually active students had used condoms the last time they had sex, but only 18 percent had used birth control pills, Furthermore; one-fifth of sexually active high school students had used drugs or alcohol before the most recent time they had sex. One in two high school students have had sex. But how many know the risks of sex and how many know how to prevent it? Looking at the facts, not too many. As stated before, most parents don’t teach those factors or if they do discuss the topic, some parents only teach the act of abstinence.
One of the biggest issues with abstinence is that it denies adolescents the chance to learn acceptable options of having sex and ways to prevent it other than abstinence. If more schools started teaching the use of condoms and birth control, diseases and pregnancies aren’t as likely. Between 2006–2010 and 2011–2013, there were significant declines in teen females’ reports of having received formal instruction about birth control, STDs, HIV and AIDs, and saying no to sex. There was also a significant decline in adolescent males’ reports of having received formal instruction about birth control.
Also, The federal government currently provides funding to evaluate new and innovative adolescent pregnancy prevention approaches, both in and out of school, as well as to replicate existing programs. Evaluations of programs funded under this initiative have shown that roughly one in three had a positive impact—a larger proportion than typically found in evaluation efforts of this nature. Admittedly comprehensive sexual education will teach kids how to have sex more safety or completely prevent it. Comprehensive sex education doesn’t encourage kids to have sex. Just like abstinence-only programs, good comprehensive programs teach students that abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy and STDs. The difference is that these programs also give students realistic and factual information about the safety of various sexual practices, and how to improve the odds.
Many of these programs have resulted in delayed sexual debut, reduced frequency of sex and number of sexual partners, increased condom or contraceptive use, or reduced sexual risk-taking. Sex Ed helps myths related to sex teens have be broken and creates a better understanding for teens.
Many controversies say that sexual education in schools can interfere with certain religions. Nothing about sex education prevents parents from teaching their kids their standards for moral behavior. If anything, having them learn the facts at school frees parents to focus on explaining their own personal religious beliefs and behavioral expectations.Sex is a natural part of life, and it happens with or without sex education. Seventy-one percent of American 19-year-olds have had intercourse. Ninety-nine percent of Americans will have sex in their lifetime. Only twenty states require sex and HIV education be taught in schools.
Sex is a fundamental part of being a human; but less than half of our states require sex and HIV education, and most of what is taught is filtered. Just because we refuse to talk about sex doesn’t mean it’s just going to go away. There are thirty-five states that have laws that allow parents to opt their children out of sex ed. You can’t opt your children in or out of math. But when it comes to sex education, one of the most important things you can learn in school, a parent can take their kid out for no reason at all. The student should know how they are there in the first place.
Most citizens in America are all in for religious freedom, but just because you or your religion values exclude the talk of sex before marriage doesn’t mean it is not a real thing people face everyday. It’s important teens get all the information they can, and then make a decision about their own values. Don’t let religion or family values be a reason to let students be taken out of sexual health education and to not be knowledgeable of activity that’s part of every humans life. Don’t let your morals obstruct your kid’s learning.
In today’s century, the internet affects young and older teens all over the world. They have a world of knowledge at the tip of their fingers. Why not google questions about sex? It is much better to teach children about sexual health in school rather letting them use other resources, such as pornographic material and/or the internet. This is important because the internet has a huge store of information that might be misleading.
Teens get a huge amount of information from social media; where false, misleading, or exaggerated content is often prevailed. Being able to identify the trustworthiness of information is an important concern for everyone. Yet the material online is at a speed at which it travels very fast has made this an increasingly challenging task. Rather than having open conversations about uncomfortable topics, more and more teens will just look up the answer. Which most of the time, the solution is false information. For example, of 203 middle school students surveyed as part of the report, more than 80% thought a native ad on the news website Slate labelled “sponsored content” was a real news story. A majority of high school students questioned by the researchers didn’t recognise the significance of the blue checkmark on a verified Fox News Facebook account.
So, if a child now googles a question about a sexually related topic, it is very likely that and inappropriate website will pop up or false information. With school being a primary source for most information, it should also be a resource for teenagers to get the answers to sexually related questions or misunderstandings they may have. That way, adolescents are not exposed to the harms or misleading facts on the internet.
Sexual Education is not meant to encourage students to have sex. The class has quite the opposite purpose. There is a common result in students who receive formal sex education in schools than students who do not receive the education. It is found that the educated students are shown to have sexual intercourse later than students who have not been formally educated. Sex education is important. Every teenager should have sex education incorporated into their schooling. As stated before the course should mandatory. Why should parents be able to choose if their children are in or out of a subject that they’ll need later in life? Sex education should be mandatory, accurate, and taught throughout student’s school years, just like math, history, or science. It’s been shown to help students, not hurt. It is the fundamental duty as a society to educate the next generation.
Overall Sex Education should be taught in schools because any questions adolescents may have may easily be answered. Sex Education has the ability to provide accurate information. Without making parents feel uncomfortable or the chance that students can get false information from a misleading source. Sex Education will help young people develop healthy attitudes helps young people develop healthy attitudes, values, and insights about human principals. Students will be prepared to create caring, non-coercive, and satisfying relationships when they are adults. Most importantly sex education will encourage students to make responsible choices about sexual relationships by practicing abstinence, postponing or resisting early intercourse, and using contraception and safer sex when teens do become sexually active.
- American Adolescents’ Sources of Sexual Health Information.” Guttmacher Institute, 21 Dec. 2017, www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/facts-american-teens-sources-information-about-sex.
- Boskey, Elizabeth. “There Are Many Reasons Why Sex Education Should Be Taught in Schools.” Verywell Health, Verywellhealth, www.verywellhealth.com/support-comprehensive-education-schools-3133083.
- “History of Sex Education in the U.S.” Planned Parenthood, Nov. 2016, www.google.com/amp/s/m.onlymyhealth.com/amp/sex-education-in-schools-pros-cons-1310535352.
- “Pros and Cons of Sex Education in Schools.” Google Search, Google, www.google.com/amp/s/m.onlymyhealth.com/amp/sex-education-in-schools-pros-cons-1310535352.
- Rudulph, Heather Wood. “11 Facts About Sex Ed in the U.S. That Might Surprise You.” Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, 9 Oct. 2017, www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/advice/a6329/sex-ed-facts/.
- “Sex Education.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sex%20education.