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In today's society there is a continuing debate over sex education and its influence on our children. Sex has been a part of the public school curriculum and a subject of debate since at least the nineteenth century. With teenage pregnancy rates higher than ever and the threat of the contraction of STD's, such as HIV, the role of sex education in the school is of greater importance now then ever before. Denying children of learning about sex education is like sheltering them from the harsh realities they are more than likely to encounter.
Sex education and what is included consist of, teaching abstinence and the benefits of this, using protection and what different kinds are available to prevent teenage pregnancy, the anatomy of the body, and all about STD’s including HIV. Our children would be in greater danger with the absence of this information. During the teenage years every boy and girl go through drastic changes in their body that they need to have explained to them.
This obviously is one of the most important reasons for sexual education being taught to students.
Sex education can help children deal with the many changes that occur at the start of puberty. One example is a female's first menstruation and the uncomfortable feelings they feel. If this girl had been informed of this change prior to it beginning, then her ability to accept and understand it would be a lot easier and more prepared.. Hormonal and physical changes in the body begin without warning and a child needs to know why these changes are going to take place.
Students are taught about the anatomy of the human body and how and why it works the way it does.
Knowing how one’s body works is a natural part of every person's life and the ability to gain this knowledge should not be removed. At the beginning of puberty hormones start rushing and all teenagers begin to experience sexual urges. It's not something anyone, including a parent or teacher, can control. It's a natural function of the body and has been since the beginning of time. With this hormone rush comes experimentation among teenagers. They begin to explore their own bodies as well as the bodies of others. "You can't prevent teenagers from having sex, no matter what you preach.
If students are having sex they might as well do it the safe way. It's a way for schools to show that they actually care. ” S. Ling; 2007. Students need the support from schools to know they have somewhere to go for the good or bad. With sex education classes the students are taught about the many different methods of contraception, including abstinence. By teaching the students about the many types of contraception, the chance of contraceptives being used is greatly increased. Some schools have recently begun programs to distribute condoms to students in their schools in order to hopefully increase the use of condoms.
A recent study shows that the availability of condoms in schools did in fact increase condom use. Condom access is a "low-cost harmless addition" to our current sex education programs (Richardson "Condoms in_" B8). When thinking of sex education for our children, the saying, "better safe than sorry" should always come to mind. Along with teaching contraceptives to students the important information of STD's are also taught. Out of all age groups, teenagers have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, with one in four young people contracting and STD by the age of twenty-one (DeCarlo).
Included in the STD category is the HIV virus, which is spreading at alarming rates among our teenage children. "It is believed that at least twenty percent of new patients with AIDS were infected during their teenage or early adult years. " And still some school leaders are trying to remove our best means of prevention of the disease: sex education (Roye 581) Teachers are able to educate students with information on the many types of sexually transmitted diseases that exist in the world today.
False information about ways of contracting diseases, symptoms of and treatments of STDs, and preventative measures are given out and students receive the accurate information about sexually transmitted diseases. Protecting our children from sexually transmitted diseases should start in the classroom where it can be assured that the correct and critical information will be provided to them. Nobody likes to be talked to like they are a child, and by denying teenagers sexual education, schools are in a sense talking down to them.
By teaching them the facts about sex, teenagers feel a sense of maturity because it's a mature topic and they are fully aware of that. Students get the feeling that the adults in their lives feel that they are responsible enough to learn about this topic. Therefore bringing on more of a response from teenagers. They know they are being treated as adults so they are going to pay attention to what they are being taught and then act as adults and carry out what they were taught. Teenagers appreciate when adults treat them as equals, and anyone will see that children will always respond better to this than to being treated as a child.
Since family structure has changed, so have the way children are being raised. Society cannot count on all parents to instill morals into their children and teach them the facts of life or even the difference between right and wrong these days. Parents just don't have the time for it or don’t see too much of a need for it. Besides, even if the parent were around more often than not, the chances of a child approaching their parent about the "bird and the bees" is very unlikely. These children need to have a place where the information on this touchy subject is provided to them without them needing to ask.
In order for children to grow up with the correct information regarding sex, it is necessary to have sex education provided to them in schools. Even though sex education seems as if it can do no wrong, there still remain many opponents, including many authors who clearly express their view, that are still against it in our schools. There are many reasons why people feel like this, two of which are they feel as if sex education does no good at all and another is that people feel that it is influencing students to have sex.
Teenage sexual activity has been raising steadily for more than two decades until now. A recent survey shows the first drop since the nineteen seventies. In 1990 girls that had engaged in sexual intercourse was at fifty-five percent, until 1995 when it dropped to fifty percent. Studies obviously show that sex education courses are helping today's teenagers to become more responsible for their own actions. The information that sex education provides teenagers is indispensable. Schools are meant to educate our children in not just one topic but all topics.
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