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Sex education is a powerful tool for informing children and adolescence group concerning the risks and implications of sex. There have been hot debates concerning the type of information to be provided to students in the school. Some people argue for comprehensive-based education while others support abstinence -only sex education. Supporters of comprehensive-based education assert that information about diseases transmitted sexually and contraceptives ought to be provided to students. Proponents of abstinence -only sex claim that abstinence is the only safe sex method that should be taught to the adolescents.
In my view, comprehensive-based education should be taught in schools because it informs the students about sex, abstinence and its consequences that may arise if one involves in sexual activity. Comprehensive sex education is inclusive as it informs children about abstinence, the use of contraceptives and the consequences of sexual intercourse that helps to reduce unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Comprehensive-based programs help in promoting the development of both personal and interpersonal skills (Alagiri, Collins & Summers, 2002).
It includes role-playing situations that peers could experience during a sexual encounter and some of these programs may include a collaboration of teachers, parents or guardians. Role-playing is critical as it allows comprehensive-sex education program to function more than the only source of information. Instructions are provided to the students on how to use the given information about the importance of using contraceptives during sexual intercourse. This type of education allows parents and guardians to be included in the development of safe-sex knowledge of a child (Phan & Spickard, 2018).
It also opens up a dialogue between children and parents and the former may become more comfortable to ask parents questions concerning sex. The dialogue helps to reinforce ideas taught in class and children gain more knowledge about sex and how it may affect their life if they engage in it before the appropriate time.
The rate of teen pregnancy reduces through comprehensive sex education. The proponents of comprehensive sex education assert that informing adolescents about various methods of protection helps to reduce unwanted pregnancies (Pittman & Gahungu, 2006). The research study of teens aged between 15 and 19 years demonstrated that those who received a comprehensive education were less likely to experience unwanted pregnancy by 50% than those who received abstinence -only sex education (Alagiri, Collins & Summers, 2002). A decrease in teenage pregnancy was attributed to young women with sex experience. Since children will become sexually active, and sometimes they may find themselves being attracted to partners of opposite sex, comprehensive sex education helps them to protect themselves. Failure to use protection may lead to an unintended pregnancy that interferes with the emotional and psychological well-being of the individuals (Bass, 2016). It may also prevent such individuals from completing their education due to the responsibility that comes along with parenting.
Comprehensive sex education plays a crucial role that assists in delaying the age at which children experiences the first sexual activity. Research studies show that informing teens about contraceptives do not encourage sexual activity at an early age (Phan & Spickard, 2018). Further, a survey conducted by Guttmacher Institute revealed that respondent provided with information about birth control and abstinence were older when they had sex for the first time than their peers without formal instructions. The former were more likely to use contraceptives such as condoms at first sexual encounter. Thus, the use of contraceptives increased to the individuals who were already sexually active. It is evident that comprehensive sexual education is concerned about the holistic well-being of adolescents. Education about sex and the use of contraceptives does not encourage children to start having sex (Shepherd, Sly & Girard, 2017). Rather education informs them about the repercussions of sex and the importance of using contraceptives in case they get involved in intimate relationships.
Only a handful percentage of people wait until they get married to have sex with their spouses. Even though people want to believe that sex is sacred and should be reserved for marriage, research studies reveal that over 95% of the individuals engage in sexual activity before they get married (Alagiri, Collins & Summers, 2002). This is not exceptional to even the conservative groups as they still have non-married sex. The same applies to the kids, especially during the adolescent stage. Since a significant percentage of these kids are likely to have sex, comprehensive sex education may help them to safeguard their well-being (Shepherd, Sly & Girard, 2017). Education helps them to make decisions of using contraceptives to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies.
However, proponents of abstinence -only education have a different view. Providing information about sex and the use of contraceptives may encourage children to start having sex (Bass, 2016. Proponents of abstinence -only education argue that informing children about safe sex and contraceptives can mislead them by believing that use of contraceptives makes sexual intercourse safe for those who engage in that behavior. The fact remains that those who involve themselves in irresponsible sexual intercourse risk unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. A comparison was made between schools with abstinence programs and school-health based clinics that were distributing birth control (Motherway, 2010). It was revealed that abstinence programs proved to be the most effective in preventing pregnancies and sexual activity among adolescents. The reason is that many children consider the use of contraceptives during sexual intercourse as safe from any consequence arising from unprotected sex.
Abstinence is 100% effective in safeguarding children against consequences of involving themselves in sexual intercourse without protection (Motherway, 2010). The advocates for subsistence-only education assert that sex outside marriage is immoral and abstinence is the only technique that guarantees 100% effectiveness in preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among adolescents. Most of the proponents claim that contraceptives such as condoms are not 100% effective and hence sex before marriage can result in severe consequences. Various studies have shown that abstinence -only education has played a critical role in reducing sexual activity, teenage pregnancy, and negative health outcome (Shepherd, Sly & Girard, 2017). Also, abstinence –only education proponents assert that religious faith and traditional values which are consistent with the message of abstaining from sex before marriage have the significant positive outcome. A significant percentage of teens say that religious beliefs and moral values play a substantial role in resolving whether to engage in sexual intercourse or not.
Even though proponents of abstinence -only education claim that the method is 100% effective in preventing unintended pregnancies and STIs, it denies teenagers an opportunity to learn other methods that could help them in case they have sex (Motherway, 2010). No education has revealed to be effective in convincing adolescents not to engage in sexual activity which is a considerable issue. Further, abstinence -only education does not provide empirical evidence on how information about contraceptives increases sexual activity among teenagers.
Comprehensive-based sex education makes students aware of sex, safe practices and its implications to those who engage in it before marriage. It promotes personal and interpersonal skills development, it reduces pregnancy and delays the age at which adolescents encounter the first sexual activity. Informed individuals can make decisions before having sex. Abstinence -only education is suggested as 100% effective in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and STIs. Nevertheless, abstinence only education does not put into consideration that no education that convinces teenagers not to have sex.
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