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News flash: at this very moment somewhere in the world people are having sex. There are way too many young people having unprotected sex and it’s not necessarily wrong that they’re having sex it’s just they simply don’t know the consequences that can happen to them. The education system is failing young people because most schools there is no sex education or even a health class and if there is then the teacher isn’t an actual sex educator or the methods the teacher is forced to teach is outdated and inaccurate. Sex education is extremely important to have in the school system because in today’s society there are more young people that are open to having unprotected sex and they are uneducated about the consequences.
There has been a debate on pros and cons of sex education to be brought to the classroom for decades the people on the opposing side have always tried to denote sex education by saying that the course isn’t beneficial and that it’s going to make teenagers want to have more sex. According to the article ‘History of Sex Education,’ ‘Opponents argued that schools should not be in the business of teaching young people about an intensely personal matter that belonged exclusively to families and churches. They also argued that sex education encouraged too-early sexual activity, that schools were encouraging on parental rights and authority, and that these classes were nothing more than ‘smut education.’ People genuinely thought this until the 1980s when the spark of teen pregnancy increased dramatically, and more Americans started to leave these arguments in the past. At this point in time it was better to bring sex education in schools especially with the AIDS outbreak in late 1980s.
‘With the (AIDS) epidemic came even more calls for sex education…by 1989, 23 states had passed mandates for sexuality education, in additional 23 states strongly encouraged sex education, 33 mandated AIDS education and 17 additional stated recommended it. In June of 1989, SIECUS published ‘Sex Education 2000: A Call to Action,’ which outlined 13 goals that would ensure that all children received comprehensive sexuality education by the year 2000′. At this point in history more people were open to the idea of comprehensive sex education but there we still a great amount of people who were still against it. ‘Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) supported the development of curricula such as Teen Aid and Sex Respect, two of what would become many abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula designed to control young people’s sexual behavior by instilling fear and shame’. Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs won’t work because telling young people not to have sex won’t make them not have sex, it’s like telling a killer not to kill. Causing fear in young people’s mind about sex isn’t the way to go because everyone has sex at some point of their lives and making them fear and feel shameful of something so common is only going to make things worse for them in the future. Instead of being knowledgeable about sex and practicing safe sex there are young people afraid of something so normal.
Unplanned pregnancies are preventable the key is how to prevent them, especially with teens. Heather Boonstra wrote an article called ‘Legislators craft alternative vision of sex education to counter abstinence-only drive.’ where she states, ‘Roughly two-thirds (63%) of U.S. teens have had sexual intercourse by their 18th birthday…despite significant reductions in the U.S. teen pregnancy rate over the last decade or so, nearly 900,000 teenagers still become pregnant each year–and almost four in five (78%) of these pregnancies are unintended’. There are 900,000 unintended pregnancies, 900,000 teenage girls get pregnant. That’s 900,000 girls’ lives that are forever changed because of their lack of education. ‘Recent evidence suggests that these programs and strategies — including virginity pledges, which have been shown to help some teenage girls postpone intercourse for up to 18 months – may actually increase young people’s risk of pregnancy and disease by deterring the use of contraceptives, including condoms, when they become sexually active’.
Even though abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have postponed young girls from having sex for a while doesn’t mean it will prevent them from having it incorrectly in the future. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are everywhere and they tend to spread like wildfire. Getting an STD is easy, preventing one isn’t. U.S Department of Health & Human Services released an article titled ‘Adolescent Development and STDs’ which states the following Adolescents ages 15-24 account for nearly half of the 20 million new cases of STD’s each year. Today, two in five sexually active teen girls have had an STD that can cause infertility and even death.
Also, though rates of HIV are very low among adolescents, males make up more than 80 percent of HIV diagnoses among 13- to 19-year-olds. STDs often have no obvious sign or physical symptom, so regular screenings are critical. The most effective way to prevent STDs is to abstain from sexual activity; if teens are having sex, they should be using a condom correctly and with every sexual act. Teenagers are at a higher risk at getting an STD because of their lack education on how to prevent getting one. With comprehensive sex education courses these teenagers will be less likely catch STDs, they’ll be able to find the symptoms easier, and be able to understand the importance of getting themselves and their partners tested.
Many people believe that a comprehensive sex education course will make young people have more sex, but the research says otherwise. A researcher for the National Campaign to End Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Douglas Kirby, analyzed the study of prevention programs and found of that two-thirds of the 48-comprehensive sex education programs had positive effects. These programs that Douglas Kirby analyzed had positive effects meaning they help young people more than the abstinence-only-until-marriage programs they are taking now. ’40 percent delayed sexual initiation, reduced the number of sexual partners, or increased condom or contraceptive use. 30 percent reduced the frequency of sex, including a return to abstinence. 60 percent reduced unprotected sex’. This research debunks a lot of the past arguments skeptics had in the 80s and today. Sex education is beneficial to young people. When Advocates for Youth took an extensive review of these existing programs to create a list of programs that have been effective they found 26 effective programs.
Many young people have been positively affected by these programs yet the people that oppose the programs aren’t seeing that. ‘Fourteen programs demonstrated a statistically significant delay in timing of first sex. 13 programs showed statistically significant declines in teen pregnancy, HIV, or other STIs. 14 programs helped sexually active youth to increase their use of condoms. 9 programs demonstrated success at increasing use of contraception other than condoms. 13 programs showed reductions in the number of sex partners and/or increased monogamy among program participants. 10 programs helped sexually active youth to reduce the incidence of unprotected sex’.
These programs are doing something right if they’re preventing young people from getting pregnant and from decreasing the amount of HIV and STIs being transmitted. Sex education is extremely important to have in the classroom because without it young people are at risk of having their lives completely turned upside down because of their lack of education. There are so many young people that are having unprotected sex without knowing the consequences and it’s the education system and parents to blame for that. The debate of whether we should have sex education or not needs to be dropped because right now a lot of parents think they’re doing the best they can to prevent their child from potentially ruining their lives when in reality they’re doing the complete opposite by promoting courses that doesn’t teach adequate sexual education and misleads young people into thinking that sex is this taboo issue that no one has unless they want to suffer the consequences. Sex is completely normal so normal that someone can be having it right now.
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