The Importance Of Sex Education
I chose to write my paper about sex education because I think that it is something that is super important especially in this day and age. I remember being an adolescent and I went to a Christian school and sex education was not really talked about and my peers were not too concerned with sex, we all took the abstinence role because of what we were taught at home and in school, it was always encouraged to remain abstinent until you are married, but it was not until my seventh grade year I begged my mom to let me transfer to a public school and the culture was completely different, children in seventh grade were having sex and I was completely appalled, now that I am older I see it in a different perspective, I am shocked and disappointed, and I understand more why children should have not been having sex in seventh grade, that school however did have a sex education class, it was very fast, and short, also vague I do not remember anything in detail but I do however remember the topic being taught. Because of that experience that I had in seventh grade and now that I am a small group leader at my church to middle school girls and their peers are having sex, and their classmates are pregnant, I think that it is extremely important to talk about sex, and implement sex education courses in school, I do however think that parents should have the choice as to whether or not their child can take the course, but it is something that is extremely important. I believe that abstinence only as a whole in ineffective, because society, friends, media, and bodily hormones urge sex. I do however think that religious beliefs and having parents and/or guardians that care to sit down and talk to their adolescent(s) about safe sex and why it is important to wait practices abstinence more.
Sex education is a term that is used to describe education about the human sexual anatomy, sexual intercourse, sexual reproduction, and it ultimately is a stride to inform people about the risk of sex, and encourage people to practice safe sex, and make healthy decisions about sex and/or sexuality. Sex education is offered in many different settings such as schools, at community centers, and even offered online. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) was organized by people that are experts in adolescent psychology, health care, and education to give the most important information that sexuality program should integrate in their curriculum. The Future of Sex Education Initiative (FoSE) is an organization that goal is to generate a worldwide dialogue about sex education in the future. They have created the first National Sexuality Education Standards and National Teacher and Preparation Standards. There has been a substantial amount of studies and research that has shown that sex education is helpful when it I taught correctly. There are twenty-four states and the district of Columbia mandate sex education and 34 states mandate HIV education. (Planned Parenthood).
There is also a counter argument that sex-education and/or abstinence only is not effective. The reasoning behind this is that people believe that the lack of sex education is causing adolescence to want to have sex more. People also believe that we let the youth down when we do not inform them on the STD’s, STI’s, and unplanned pregnancies that happen when during sex. Other feel that pushing only abstinence is going against medical ethics. (Mccammon, 2017). Research also shows that programs that implement safe sex and abstinence are more effective than programs that push abstinence only. (Steinberg, 2017). Research shows that half of the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned regardless of if they are married, un-married, young, or old. (Weese, 2018). However, in 2013 it was reported that the birth rate has decreased tremendously. In the U.S. teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 years old dropped at a low that has not been recorded since 1946, due to the many contraceptives there are fewer teen pregnancies which means fewer abortions. (Women’s Health, 2019). The abortion rate has been at an all-time decline since the 1990’s however there was an outlier in 1985 when abortions went up. (Childe Trends, 2018). In 2013 it was reported that 24% of teen pregnancies end in abortion. Based on data and research the top 10 states that report the most teen pregnancies are Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Texas, West Virginia, Alabama, and Tennessee. (World Population Review, 2019 Although the percent of teen pregnancies have decreased contracting STD’s/STI’s have not.
Research shows that about 20 million new STI’s in the U.S each year, 50% of the people that have these STI’s are between the ages of 15-24, and 46% of high school students in the U.S. are at high risk for HIV and/or other diseases. Research also shows that the most common STD’s are gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia and chlamydia leading out of all three. Research shows that 1.14 million people get gonorrhea a year, about 27,814 people report syphilis a year, and 2 million people get chlamydia a year. ( Do Something). If gonorrhea is left untreated it can cause discharge from the anus, itching, soreness, and/or bleeding. In 2012 the rates for gonorrhea were at the highest in adolescents and young adults and most of them were women. If syphilis is left untreated in can lead to damage to the brain, internal organs, joints, liver, heart, blindness, paralysis, dementia, and even death. If chlamydia is left untreated it can also cause similar symptoms as gonorrhea. It is important to know that STD’s can all result in issues with infertility, and many other health issues, they also make you more prone to catching other diseases. (Health and Senior Services). During a research study that included 2,353 students in the grade tenth and twelfth grade students were asked whether their parents approval or disapproval of them having sex affected whether or not they have had sex before. Well over half of these students anticipated parental disapproval and 44% of the total sample had sex. The results showed that there were no effects that the parents Logistic regression analyses showed and there was no predictive effect of perceived parents, disapproval of sexual intercourse, experiences however the students views of sexual intercourse experience of the same sex and other sex friends was predictive for both male and female. Females were more likely than males to expect their fathers disapproval however the sexes did not show any difference with respect to mothers’ disapproval. Students most often used their personal experience, friends and parents were their sources of information about healthy dating and relationships, but they relied more on information that was given at school about pregnancy and STI prevention. It is important to understand as a parent, teacher, mentor, and also an adolescent that during that intimacy shifts at around the age of 12-14 to 17-18; this shift is known as preadolescence and it is the need for sexual contact, and intimacy with a partner. (Steinberg, 2017). The influence of peer groups, and media also have an effect on the decisions that adolescents make. (Steinberg, 2017). I remember being an adolescent and the influence of my peers were more effective than parents at that age and I think that it is important that parents understand that, it would bring them more ease, and how to be more open with their child.
After research and also knowing people that are very close to me that have experienced an unplanned pregnancy or have contracted an STD/STI I believe it is extremely important to inform educate, and continue to make strides for our adolescents and young adults to make responsible and safe decisions about sex. I believe that the best way to do this would be to educate the adolescents on the topic. I would inform them and make sure that they know that sex is a beautiful thing, it is how we are all here however it should be done in the right context. I would explain to them that the reason they feel the urge to have sexual relations is because their bodies are changing because of hormones. (Steinberg, 2017). I believe that if we give adolescents a choice as to whether or not they want to practice safe sex and/or be abstinent as opposed to abstinence only. I believe that when you take away their choice it provokes them to want to rebel. The truth is sex is always going to be practice however it should always be practiced safely.