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The Importance of Sex Education in Schools

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“The conversation concerning sexuality and appropriate sexual behaviour for teens and young adults is not a recent one. When a young person goes through puberty, many questions and curiosities arise surrounding their changing bodies and emotions. Michener (1938), an early researcher interested in school based sex education, noted that whenever students were given the option to voice their preferences for the social studies curriculum, sex education was requested for instruction. Parents and educators have seen it as their responsibility to guide youth in behaving according to the cultural codes of conduct for the times”. Sex education is basically the instruction of issues which relate to human sexuality, that also include emotional relations and responsibilities, age consent, sexual activity and also sexual abstinence. Sex education in schools helps students gain information; skills and also motivation to enable them to make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality. It is today considered to be a relatively new concept in our entire education system that was proposed as a way of reducing various problems related to sex that is happening among the youths. This includes problems such as teenage pregnancies, abortion, molestations, rape and also baby-dumping.

Individuals who are misinformed about sex are usually the ones committing most of these problems. Sex education is, therefore, a great way to teach young adults about all that there is to know about sex and also everything it accompanies. In what is considered to be the simplest form, sex education is general education about contraceptive methods, sexuality and also attitudes and principles about sex. Many people usually have a feeling that as delicate as the issue about sex is, should be informed and explained by parents. Parents and children should have honest and open communication between them through childhood, pre-teen to young adulthood which helps them to bring the teen to mature into sexually healthy adults. However, there are a number of parents who still feel embarrassed to talk about sex, afraid of providing too much information or openly communication with their children which should not be the case. This is why the introduction of sex education in schools can greatly contribute to providing an alternative route for children to learn the existing facts that surround sex. It is of significant importance to discuss sex education today because it promotes the idea that sex is not only natural and healthy but also a normal part of life and no one should feel ashamed about it. In addition, it can help the youths acquire more information about sex in a scientific and objective way so that they would be more careful in preventing other issues related to sex. It should be noted that teenagers are already sexually active and they, therefore, need accurate information about sex and the risks involved as they reach puberty so that they can be able to protect themselves when necessary.

Additionally, sex education can be an encouragement to youths to remain abstinent or also consider practicing safe sex through the use of preventative measures. Discussing the issue of sex education especially in schools will enable teenagers to be early informed about issues surrounding sex such as decrease teen pregnancy, sexual orientation, and homosexuality. This essay aims at presenting the findings that support the fact that sex educations should be implemented in schools in regards to the remarkable benefits it has to teenagers. The implementation of sex education in schools will be able to provide teenagers with accurate information that will enable them to make essential life choices. On the other hand, this essay will also try to highlight how different people have claimed that the implementation of sex education in schools would actually promote the risk of sex and that it is ineffective. “The statistics speak for themselves: Almost 1, 000 teenage girls become pregnant in Canada each week; 55 per cent of all females giving birth in Canada are under 19 years of age; 80 per cent of young people don’t use any form of birth control the first time they have intercourse. The problem comes when solutions are suggested. For many, premarital sex is a moral issue. Nothing ignites a righteous flame faster than proposing a sex education program in the schools. Everything in its place, it is argued, and the proper place for sex education is in the home. Unfortunately, many parents don’t seem all that comfortable with this responsibility – a fact borne out by a recent Gallup poll. Released in September, the poll revealed that while 91 per cent of teenagers aged 14 to 20 thought their parents should discuss the facts of life with them, only 36 per cent actually said their parents did so. Friends and school were the most common sources of information”. Thus, sex education greatly encourages healthy teen sexuality. Despite the fact that majority of parents are still divided on the issue that the introduction of sex education in school is the only way to eliminate many issues, a strong majority of those that have been surveyed have supported the content that will be taught to be off of importance. The support from parents regarding the concepts being taught for the Grade 1 to 8 was strong. For instance, a survey that dealt with the question of whether teaching the Grade 7 students about sexually transmitted diseases, oral and anal sex and the risks of “sexting” was right, 84 percent of parents supported the idea. In addition, the question that received the lowest level of support that is, 68 percent, was regarding whether Grade 6 students should be taught about masturbation, gender expression and also consent.

Many discussions on sex education have made individuals think that it only destroys the morality of individuals because of the perception that it only teaches the student about how sexual intercourse is done. What they need to understand is that it not only prevents sexual diseases and teenage pregnancies but it is also a need, especially in situations where parents are not around and it gives the teenagers a distinction of what is right and what is wrong. The introduction of sex education in schools does not imply that students will be encouraged to do it but it greatly implies that sexual diseases and teenage pregnancies will be eliminated. In addition, with a sex education curriculum in place, students will be taught on the importance of abstinence. It is because the greatest emphasis will be focused on teaching that sexual intercourse should be after marriage. In cases that involve parents being away from their children, sex education should be taught to them so that they are able to learn from an individual who is well educated and who is also a well responsible adult instead of learning about it from their friends or also the media. In order to decrease issues such as the rate of child sexual abuse, sex education should be implemented in schools so that teenagers could be informed and therefore reject offenses upon them. In addition, they will be able to know the current situation in our modern society and the necessary actions to be taken. Besides students being taught on abstinence, they could also be taught on the significance of contraception. For instance, they could be informed on how the use of condoms alone could save lives and improve health by not only preventing HIV and AIDS but also other sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, through sex education, students will be educated on abstinence and contraceptives would be of significant benefits to young adults.

However, there are many individuals who think that the introduction of sex education curriculum in schools has been based on ideology. Some individuals also inclined to feel that this sex education act as an interference from schools into an arena of personal life. Peer pressure plays a vital role in swaying young people into wrong judgements. Others believe that sex education classes ignore the individual differences among children and break down the natural modesty of boys and girls and that as sensitive as sexuality is, children who are at the same grade level are usually given same materials even if others are not yet ready either physically or psychologically for these materials. They consider this as being insensitive and harmful.

In conclusion, it is natural for parents to be concerned about the ethical influences that may conflict with what they teach their kids. However, individuals who oppose sex education should accept that school has no interest in encouraging students to involve in sexual activity as it is the school’s responsibility to provide information. Society should acknowledge this critical effort from the school system as a constructive method to ensure both children and teenagers should be entitled to information that is correct and one which is from the right sources about sexual relationships and other related issues so that they can be able to make decisions that are right regarding their future. They need to be made aware of the consequences if at all there are misconceptions about sex that in turn becomes dangerous. Teenagers need all the necessary information especially in this current and also a risky society and the implementation of sex education in school will be able to prepare them properly.

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