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Has sexual activity grown as casual to high school students as kissing? According to Zandile Bley, who writes for Sex, etc. it has. ” Even in grammar school, she heard about students having oral sex… by the time they got to high school, it’s really not such a big deal,” she says ( Florio).
Some experts feel that our public schools should step in, and provide sexually active students with contraceptives, or condoms, which would aid in the fight against growing rates of teen pregnancies, and prevent the spread of STD’s, such as AID’s and Herpes. This feeling, however, is wrong. Distribution of condoms should not become the responsibility of the public school system. Not only would this new measure overstep the boundaries of a school’s duties, but it also would step on the toes of those parents teaching their children to abstain from sexual activity at such a young age. Cal Thomas of the Times Union says that, ” unprotected sex isn’t the problem. Premarital sex is.” If schools are given the right to distribute condoms, parents who hold a similar view to Thomas may find the school’s new actions inappropriate, and strongly unwelcome.
This distribution, if allowed, would also make students who have chosen abstinence, feel pressure to have sex and may even feel that sex is no longer an important decision. Instead, students will feel that this activity has been condoned by their school, if not expected, and those who have chosen to abstain from sexual activity in the past, may withdraw that decision because of a new apathetic view towards sexual activity. As stated earlier, this measure would also take away a parents ability to uphold a morality of their children during their teenage years.
Some may say that abstinence, however, is no longer a valid solution to youth and their sexual habits. Statistics, however, prove this to be invalid. According to Feb. 22, 1999’s edition of the Times Union, only 49% of teen boys had a sexual experience in 1999’s survey, compared to a larger 61% after a survey in 1990 ( Fields). This proves that abstinence has become an effective way to prevent sexual activity of men and women within their teenage years. The Center For Disease Control defines sex as being, ” any contact with genitalia, buttocks or breasts that causes arousal, or any activity which stimulates or causes the exchange or release of body fluids”
( Florio). Also, according to Florio’s article, in 1990, 54% of students were sexually active. When polled again in 1997, this number had decreased to 48%. The Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York also attributed the drop in sexual activity to “a growing emphasis on delaying sex and increased fear of disease.”
These statistics prove that the way to reduce teen pregnancy, and the spread of STD’s is the teaching of abstinence to young people. Distributing condoms in school will not only take away a parents right to tell their children not to engage in sexual activity, but will also put pressure on students, if not encourage them to participate in sexual activities at a younger age, increasing the very problem which the distribution of condoms was meant to reduce.
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