Public Schools Must Provide Comprehensive Sex Education

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“Each year, U.S. teens experience as many as 850,000 pregnancies, and youth under age 25 experience about 9.1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs)” (McKeon). Clearly this shows us that teens are sexually active, yet the school systems refuse to effectively educate our youth on what being sexually active fully entails. Sex education can be approached in two different ways; comprehensive and abstinence only. Comprehensive sex education “addresses both abstinence and age-appropriate, medically accurate information about contraception. Comprehensive sex education is also developmentally appropriate, introducing information on relationships, decision-making, assertiveness, and skill building to resist social/peer pressure, depending on grade-level” (Advocates). Abstinence only sex education programs strictly teach to abstain from any and all sexual activity until marriage. The main difference between the two approaches is comprehensive sex education teaches abstinence as a secondary option and teens who choose not to wait until marriage to engage in sexual activity are proficiently informed on how to utilize different birth control methods.
This issue of sexually uneducated teens directly effects teens choosing to engage in sexual activity, not only in the present moment but possibly for the rest of their lives. When teens become pregnant their future plans change instantly; they become less likely to complete school, and become more likely to become single parents. This in turn directly affects any children born to them, “they have less supportive and stimulating home environments, poorer health, lower cognitive development, worse educational outcomes, more behavioral problems, and are more likely to become teen parents the...

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...abstinence and condom use: Are we sure we are really teaching what is safe?” Health Education & Behavior 26: 43-54.

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Planned Parenthood. “About Us.” www.plannedparenthood.org. PPFA. 2013. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.
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The National Campaign. “Counting it up: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing in South
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