The Benefits of Sexual Education in Public Schools

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Sex is a predominant part of life, and that is not changing anytime soon. A common response to this is to dismiss the conversation. Instead of overlooking the problem like the majority of individuals, an inquiry into what is being taught/shown to youth is needed. Strasburger, the author of “Adolescents, Sex, and the Media: Ooooo, Baby, Baby—a Q & A” notes: “I’ve often wondered what it would be like if we taught young people swimming the same way we teach sexuality. If we told them that swimming was an important adult activity one they will all have to be skilled at when they grow up, but we never talked with them about it. We never showed them the pool . . . but when they asked a question about how swimming felt or what it was about, they would be greeted with blank or embarrassed looks . . . Miraculously, some might learn to tread water, but many would drown” (11). Strasburger conveys the message that there is a problem with sexual education and urges his readers to do something about it. Teens should be able to make educated decisions, so they can protect themselves and their partners from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and be able to maintain that safety from teenage years to adulthood. The bulk of sexual education programs within the United States are not assisting teens to achieve and uphold these standards. Sexual education curriculum in the United States needs to be examined on both a federal and state level, and comprehensive sexual education programs must be implemented. Sexual education and sex in general is a taboo subject. A number of people, both in the past and recently, have suggested that sex education programs should be taught elsewhere besides schools, like at home. Sadly, parents a... ... middle of paper ... .... Kirby, Douglas. “Abstinence, Sex, and STD/HIV Education Programs for Teens: Their Impact on Sexual Behavior, Pregnancy, and Sexually Transmitted Disease.” Annual Review of Sex Research 18 (2007): 143-177. Print. Kirby, Douglas. "Effective Approaches to Reducing Adolescent Unprotected Sex, Pregnancy, and Childbearing." The Journal of Sex Research 39.1 (2002): 51-7. Print. Rector, Robert, Melissa Pardue, and Shannan Martin. “What Do Parents Want Taught in Sex Education Programs?” Heritage.org. The Heritage Foundation, 28 Jan. 2004. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. Stanger-Hall, Kathrin, and David W. Hall. "Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why we Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S." PLoS One 6.10 (2011). Print. Strasburger, Victor C. "Adolescents, Sex, and the Media: Ooooo, Baby, Baby-a Q & A." Adolescent Medicine Clinics 16.2 (2005): 269,88, vii. Print.
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