Just Because You Have a Rain Coat Doesn’t Mean It’s Going to Rain Sex is a natural and healthy way of life, yet it remains as such a controversial issue as to how, when and if it should be taught in schools due to the growing epidemic of teen pregnancies and STI’s. Abstinence only programs are more favored but have not been proven to be effective. Abstinence only programs claim that this style of education will delay sexual activity and reduce teen pregnancy; however this claim has yet to be proven true.
It is every child’s right to an effective education, parents and educators need to be using a comprehensive style of teaching and teach children the truth about sex. Comprehensive sex education starts at a very early age, allows children to define their own morals versus being guilted into society’s expectations, and promotes abstinence along with showing them how to be safe against unwanted pregnancies, STI’s and HIV. Abstinent only programs which generally start in middle school, teach that any kind of sexual acts of any kind will have negative social, psychological and physical consequence.
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A comprehensive style of teaching begins at a very early age. The subjects that are taught are age appropriate. For example the earliest sex education that a child gets is during the potty training stage. Parents are encouraged to use appropriate terms when referring to their child’s private parts. Some parents might feel uncomfortable using terms like penis or vagina; however Dr. Sue Hubbard explains “It is so important to teach your children the appropriate words for penis and vagina. Just as they learn eyes, ear, nose, knee, foot, toe they need to know the names of their “private parts”.
If you begin with the correct words it never seems awkward or uncomfortable and is no different than naming any other body part. ” (MD. ) There is a huge benefit to this early education; it helps aid parents in explaining to young children what exactly a “bad touch” is. If there is ever an instance of inappropriate touching or abuse the child will be able to explain the situation correctly and accurately knowing the appropriate terms. Not only is this education encouraged at home but is reinforced when the child begins kindergarten.
The Guidelines for Sexuality Education: Kindergarten ??? 12th Grade by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States lays out that education starting in Kindergarten will focus on “Such programs should be appropriate to the age, developmental level, and cultural background of students and respect the diversity of values and beliefs represented in the community” (States) and will discuss topics such as “Appreciate one’s own body, and Interact with all genders in respectful and appropriate ways. (States) Having a positive body image is very crucial to every child’s confidence and encouraging respecting everyone is paramount at an early age, and will set them up for a successful future. Sexual activity in teens has brought to light several social concerns to include sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and having children out of wedlock. Comprehensive sex education has been said to promote and encourage such behaviors.
In the article What Do Parents Want Taught in Sex Education states “Some 47 percent of parents want teens to be taught that “young people should not engage in sexual activity until they are married. ” Another 32 percent of parents want teens to be taught that “young people should not engage in sexual intercourse until they have, at least, finished high school and are in a relationship with someone they feel they would like to marry. (Rector, Pardue and Martin)Though this is what abstinent only programs promote, teens are ignoring this message due to sex images being so main stream in the media via television, music, video games and magazines. It is almost impossible for teens to avoid these images. even after controlling for other risk factors like family stability and income levels, rates of teen pregnancy increase if there is greater exposure to sex on TV.
Movies such as Juno (depicting a teen who becomes pregnant and has to deal with the consequences) and old-fashioned after-school specials are the exception to the rule; most television aimed at teens and young adults doesn’t connect STIs and pregnancy to sexual activity. ” (Rector, Pardue and Martin) The challenges and pressures that teen’s face, comprehensive education teaches teens that being abstinent is best, however teaches them how to be safe against unwanted pregnancies and diseases should they choose to be sexually active.
Some parents may have a conception that their child is going to walk into a classroom and the person teaching the class is going to be teaching how to have sex. The truth is Comprehensive sex education teaches teens the risks of what can happen if not practiced safely. Teens are taught that having an STI may increase your risk of getting HIV. To prevent this detrimental and life altering disease teens are informed how to use condoms and birth control. Girls are taught to take care of themselves and not to count on their partner to always have protect “36. %, of young people who received no sex education live in households that made less than $20,000. Moreover, the authors note that “generally individuals receiving no sex education tended to be from low-income, nonintact families, black, and from rural areas. “?? We know that young people of color and young people from low-income communities are disproportionately affected by teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. ” http://www. siecus. org/index. cfm? fuseaction=Feature. showFeature&featureid=1041&pageid=682&parentid=478