Sex education is a necessity for our youth. A large amount of teens are never educated on what may happen if they decide to have sex. They are not taught the reality of sexually transmitted infections or teenage pregnancy. Could changing this help our children and future generations make the right choices or at least be knowledgeable of the risks involved when having sex? Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases can be better prevented with the option of different methods of sex education being available in schools, and at least one of them being mandatory.
Comprehensive sex education is a program that every pre-teen should experience. Kids are sent positive messages about sexuality and sexual expression through these courses. Abstinence is still the main focus, but most know abstinence is tricky. If you tell a teenager not to have sex, in most cases they will want to do the opposite, if you do not explain to them why it is they are supposed to be abstinent. Children are given information about practicing safe sex, the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as understanding on human development and relationships. Most kids are not completely open to absorbing sex advice when they are exploding with hormones. If they are able to attain this understanding of sex before they are actually interested in having sex, it will set them up to be able to make better decisions when they do become interested in becoming sexually active.
Studies have shown a decrease for teens getting pregnant or contracting sexually transmitted diseases from teens given comprehensive sex education in school. Over half of kids in high school have had sex by their senior year. Children are having sex at earlier ages. There is no evidence to support that sex education programs encourage students to want to have sex. Abstinence only programs have been found to be less effective than comprehensive sex education programs.
Another great program to have available in schools would be self-confidence classes. These would give kids the tools and information needed to address a time when they may be put into a situation where they are being pressured to have sex. For example, the most known of them all prom night. Many young males and females experience pressure to have sex on prom night and if that individual is not confident in themselves about sexual situations and what to do, they may feel they do not have a choice in the situation or that this is what may be expected of them.
Peer pressure can come in many forms. Children will be faced with both negative and positive influences. Kids who experience premature sex may feel a sense of pleasure, as well as the thought that this act may make the relationship they are in stronger. In girls and boys an increase in popularity is at times a considerable reason to engage in sex. When most parents think about peer pressure they think of a group of kids doing drugs or drinking alcohol while the one child who refrains from doing these things is being told “everyone is doing it”. A great number of kids attain a sense of knowledge just through observation. Sexual content is exposed to kids through the internet and media every day. If kids do not have some sort of context to put this information in they will focus on it and try to understand it on their own, but this may not be in a safe way. Parenting classes would be a wonderful dose of reality for young adults who are or are not already sexually active. These classes would provide these students with a hands-on experience to parenting. Teens do not fully comprehend what it is like to have the responsibility of another life on their hands. This class should be excessive enough to have a substantial impact on the students. After having experienced a tiny reality of what it is really like having a baby, this would cause second thought to having sex. In turn, would cause teens to make sure that having sex is worth taking the chance of getting pregnant or contracting an STD. Having that reality helps teens to stop and make sure they take the time to take precautions to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Sex education in school does not prevent parents from teaching kids about sex in their own way. Having this basic knowledge of sex before speaking with parents, will provide children with an idea of what their parents are talking about instead of going into it blind.
This also allows the opportunity for parents to focus on their personal beliefs and expectations concerning sex. Sex education should provide children with a great sense of information and safety. Kids will gain more than just the knowledge of sex; this will also help them understand the psychological parts of having sex with someone. Out of both genders, majority of girls are felt with a feeling of being used, feeling bad about themselves, and a consciousness of regret. With these emotions comes guilt, which can cause long term effects on young adults later in life. For example, young adults who engage in casual sex with numerous partners that they have not established a relationship with, may cause psychological issues with having an actual relationship or being committed to that relationship. A larger variety of topics to cover every possible option these young children do have when it comes to having sex should be available. As well as help to provide understanding of choice and starting over with new sexual situations if they have already done so. This allows students the freedom to make their own decisions about sex with an informed mind instead of a closed mind, and telling them what they can do if they do choose to engage in sex instead of just what they cannot and should not do.
Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F., and David W. Hall. “Abstinence-Only Education And Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education In The U.S.” Plos ONE 6.10 (2011): 1-11. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 Feb. 2014. Maxwell, Claire, and Elaine Chase. “Peer Pressure–Beyond Rhetoric To Reality.” Sex Education: Sexuality, Society And Learning 8.3 (2008): 303-314. ERIC. Web. 22 Feb. 2014. “EDITORIAL: Teens’ decisions on sex have life-altering effects: Consequences.” Ottawa Herald, The (KS) 22 Apr. 2010: Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 22 Feb. 2014.