Importance of Sex Education in School

Many parents are against sex education being taught within the schools. Sex is a very sensitive subject. Many parents feel that it is not appropriate to teach children these ¡§facts of life¡ at such a young age. Shouldn¡t one wait for marriage to learn about these things any way? The overwhelming fact is that a growing number of teens especially are thinking about and even having sexual encounters.
Should sex education be taught in school? Some say that is no longer the question, but rather how should it be taught. Over 93% of all public high schools currently offer courses on sexuality or HIV. More than 510 junior or senior high schools have school-linked health clinics, and more than 300 schools make condoms available on campus. (Sex Education in the Schools) The following is a discussion of the many questions associated with teaching sex education at school.
1. Why do youth need sex education? – The United States has more than double the teenage pregnancy rate of any western industrialized country. More than a million teenagers become pregnant annually. In addition, teenagers have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) of any age group. In fact, one in four young people contract an STD by the age of 21.(Sex Education in Schools)

2. Why should schools be involved in sex education? – Most parents still avoid the issue. Keeping children ignorant endangers their lives¡Xespecially for the millions of teens who have already begun having sex. An overwhelming 61% of male high school students and 48% of female high school students fit in this category. (CDC, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Sexual Behavior Among High School Students, What You Should Know About Sexuality Education)
3. If sexuality education is so useful, why are so many teens still having sex and getting pregnant? – It is also the product of the child¡s environment and experiences that leads them down a certain path. The total responsibility cannot be placed on school education.
Here are some tips provided by Planned Parenthood for parents dealing with the issue of sex with their children. (National Family Sexuality Education Month)
„h Be open and respectful about your child¡s questions
„h Examine your values about sexuality
Here are some scary STDs, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, which teens should be aware of:
„« HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This weakens your immune system, making you susceptible to any other virus or bacterial germ in creation. HIV leads to AIDS, which is fatal and is now the leading cause of death in America with no cure or vaccine available. (Three Scary STDs) HIV is passed through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.
„« CHLAMYDIA- It’s called the “invisible STD” because a large percentage of people who have it don’t show symptoms. Chlamydia is bacterial, so it can be treated in its early stages with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can leave you sterile.
„« GENITAL WARTS – A type of the Human Papilloma Virus. Some types of this virus cause warts, others show NO symptoms. There are 60 different types altogether. Luckily, there are a number of ways to treat it. However, even with treatment, the warts can always recur. Condoms do offer some protection, but viruses can “shed” on areas not covered by the condom. (Three Scary STDs)

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