Sexual Education in High School

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High school is a time for teenagers to discover themselves, explore their futures, meet new people, try new activities, and become more independent. Along with the new opportunities comes peer pressure and tough decisions. Most of the decisions are basic like choosing to go shopping with friends instead of studying for a math test or skipping soccer practice to go on a date with a crush. The consequences of simple work or friends decisions are minor. The teenager may get a bad grade on the math test and have to run extra laps at practice the next day but his life will not be significantly altered. Some decisions, however, are more complicated. In high school teenagers begin to date and engage in physical contact such as kissing. As relationships become more serious, pressure to perform other sexual acts increases. In order to make the best choice on an important decision requires information and knowledge on the subject, risks, consequences, and options available. Without proper information in regards to sexual intercourse and the risks associated with such actions, teenagers cannot be expected to make the best decision when it comes to performing sexual acts. Comprehensive sexual education needs to be taught in American high schools to increase the knowledge of teenagers on the risks of sexual intercourse and the preventative measures available to reduce the risks so teenagers can make informed decisions. The risks associated with the performance of sexual acts include pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexually transmitted infections. When the risks become reality, the lives of the affected teenager are changed negatively. Teen pregnancies inhibit the education of women with only “about half (51%) of [them rece... ... middle of paper ... ...ple do not support teaching about or providing contraceptives to teenagers. In the article “Distributing Condoms in Schools Encourages Teen Sex”, John D. Hartigan wrote, “… supplying teenagers with condoms inevitably produces a marked increase in their sexual activity” (11). Regardless of the availability of condoms and other forms of contraceptives, teenagers will still engage in sexual intercourse. The article “Effective Sex Education” by Brigid McKeon for the Advocates for Youth states the information, such as contraception use and availability, taught in “comprehensive sex education… [does] not increase rates of sexual initiation” (12) The only difference between making contraceptives easily available to teenagers and preventing teenagers access to contraceptives is the number of teenagers who are unprotected from pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses.
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