The Debate Over Comprehensive Sexual Education

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The debate over whether comprehensive sexual education should be taught in school settings has been a controversial issue in the United States for over a decade. The United States has more than double the teenage pregnancy rate of any western industrialized country. Recent statistics have shown that more than a million teenagers become pregnant annually. In addition, teenagers have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections and diseases of any age group. In fact, one in four young people contract a sexually transmitted infection or disease by the age of twenty-one. Comprehensive sexual education in educational institutions is crucial as a means of combating the alarming rates of sexually transmitted infections and diseases and unwanted pregnancies amongst teenagers. It is not unusual for parents to feel they are doing the greatest conceivable job of caring for their kids, and rightfully so. Many parents struggle day in and day out to provide for their children, and to open doors to their children’s successful future. So, obviously, when confronted with troubling facts, parents of this kind may be met with denial and displeasure. Given the rise in unwanted teenage pregnancies seen among teenage girls and a rise in the number of teens infected with sexually transmitted infections and diseases, these negative sentiments may possibly be at their highest. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “Nearly half of the twenty million new sexually transmitted infections and diseases each year are among young people aged fifteen to twenty-four years old.” Even more startlingly, “More than 273,105 teen girls aged fifteen to nineteen years old gave birth in 2013” (CDC). These statistics are enough to make most any... ... middle of paper ... ...l-imparting dialog about important sexual health issues like sexually transmitted infections and diseases and unintended pregnancy. These types of programs facilitate a social and environmental context that encourages and empowers our youth to engage in healthier behaviors. The health and future of every adolescent is shadowed by the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection or diseases, as well as by the risk of unintended pregnancy. In order to ensure our youth lead a safe and healthy lifestyle, we must be able to address stigma and health inequities and promote sexual health – without which there is little chance of reducing the burden of sexually transmitted infections and diseases and unintended pregnancies. Comprehensive sexual education in the classroom setting is important in order to help our youth have a chance at living a safe and healthy life.

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