comprehensive sec education

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Public opinion polls have validated that most Americans, both parents and students, support sex education being taught in our schools. For example, a survey conducted in 2004 by the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation, the Kennedy School of Government, and National Public Radio, determined that more than 90% of parents supported teaching sex education in schools. The results of this study also revealed that: 93% of parents discovered that the sex education programs in their child’s school were either very or somewhat helpful in dealing with sexual issues, 98% wanted their child to learn about HIV and AIDS, 94% wanted their child to learn about getting tested for STD’s, 93% of those polled wanted their child to be taught about abstinence until marriage, 83% were interested in their child learning how to use a condom correctly, and 71% of participants felt that it was important for their child to know that “teens can receive birth control from various family planning clinics without parent permission” (Kaiser Family Foundation, National Public Radio, Harvard University, 2004). And in a recent poll, 89% of Americans said it is important for sex education in schools to include information about contraception and preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV (Henshaw S., 2002). The Kaiser poll also found that about 46% of polled Americans believed that the most appropriate approach to teaching youth about sexual health is “abstinence-plus”; meaning, that overall, those who were polled feel that schools and programs should teach about effective condom and contraception use while emphasizing abstinence. Approximately 36% of those who were surveyed stated that they believed that abstinence is not the mo... ... middle of paper ... ... sex education is necessary because students will undoubtedly encounter a situation during their lifetime wherein they would use the knowledge that they had gained throughout the sex education program. Nowadays, children gain their knowledge about sex from the media and more often than not the messages children receive from the media are highly negative and degrading. Children cannot and should not rely on media for their sex education nor be “scared” into not having sex due to alarmist misinformation taught by abstinence only programs. Rather children need to be properly educated about these concepts in order for them to realize the importance of safe sex, how to avoid unprotected sex, the risks of STDs, effective communication and relationship skills, as well as be in an environment where they are comfortable talking about sex (Lagina/ Advocates for Youth, 2009).
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