In today’s society there is an on going debate over sex education and itsinfluence on our children. “The question is no longer should sex educationbe taught, but rather how it should be taught” (DeCarlo). With teenagepregnancy rates higher than ever and the imminent threat of the contraction ofSTD’s, such as HIV, the role of sex education in the school is of greaterimportance now then ever before. By denying children sex education you are in asense sheltering them from the harsh realities they are bound to encounter.
Sexeducation has become an essential part of the curriculum and by removing theinformation provided by this class we’ll be voluntarily putting our children indanger. During the teenage years every boy and girl undergo major changes in thebody that most of the time need explaining. This underscores one of the mostevident reasons for sexual education being taught to students. Sex education canhelp children to cope with the many changes caused by the onset of puberty.Order now
Onesuch example is a female’s first menstruation and the uneasiness they feel. Ifthis girl had been informed of this change prior to its onset, then her abilityto accept and understand it would be greatly enhanced. Hormonal and physicalchanges in the body begin without warning and a child needs to know why thesechanges are occurring. Lindsell 2 Students are taught about the anatomy of thehuman body and how and why it works the way it does. Knowing and understandinghow ones body works is a fundamental part any persons life and ability to gainthis knowledge should not be removed. At the beginning of puberty hormones startrushing and all teenagers begin to experience sexual urges.
It’s not somethinganyone, including a parent or teacher, can control. It’s a natural function ofthe body and has been since the beginning of time. With this hormone rush comesexperimentation among teenagers. They begin to explore their bodies along withthe bodies of other people. “You can’t prevent teenagers from having sex,no matter what you preach. If students are having sex they might as well do itthe safe way.
It’s a way for schools to show that they actually care,” saysShauna Ling-Choung (qt. Richardson “When sex_” B1). Students need thesupport from schools to know they have somewhere to go for the good or bad. Withsex education classes the students are taught about various methods ofcontraception, including abstinence. By teaching the students about the manytypes of contraception, the chance of contraceptives being used is greatlyincreased.
Many schools have recently begun programs to distribute condoms tostudents in their schools in order to hopefully increase the use of condoms. Arecent study shows that the availability of condoms in schools did in factincrease condom use. Condom access is a “low-cost harmless addition”to our current sex education programs (Richardson “Condoms in_” B8). When thinking of sex education for our children, the clich?? “bettersafe than sorry” should immediately come to mind.
Along with teachingcontraceptives to students the vital information of STD’s are also Lindsell 3taught. Currently, out of all age groups, teenagers have the highest rates ofsexually transmitted diseases, with one in four young people contracting and STDby the age of twenty-one (DeCarlo). Included in the STD category is the HIVvirus, which is spreading at alarming rates among our teenage population. “It is believed that at least twenty percent of new patients with AIDS wereinfected during their teenage or early adult years. ” And still some schoolleaders are trying to remove our best means of prevention of the disease: sexeducation (Roye 581) Teachers are able to educate students with the correctinformation on the many types of sexually transmitted diseases that exist in theworld today.
False information about ways of contracting diseases, symptoms ofand treatments of STDs, and preventative measures are weeded out and studentsreceive the accurate information about sexually transmitted diseases. Protectionof our children from sexually transmitted diseases should start in the classroomwhere it can be assured that the correct and critical information will beprovided to them. Nobody likes to be talked to like they are a child, and bydenying teenagers sexual education, schools are in a sense talking down to them. By teaching them the facts about sex, teenagers feel a sense of maturity becauseit’s a mature topic and they are fully aware of that. Students get the feelingthat the adults in their lives feel that they are responsible enough to learnabout this topic. Therefore bringing on more of a response from teenagers.
Theyknow they are being treated as adults so they are going to pay attention to whatthey are being taught and then act as adults and carry out what they weretaught. Teenagers appreciate when adults treat them as equals, and anyone willsee that children will always respond better to this than to being treated as achild. Lindsell 4 Much of the typical family structure in the United States andmany other places in the world have deteriorated over the last century. A goodportion of parents today are divorced and many of the families that haven’texperienced divorce live with both parents working full time jobs. Familiestoday aren’t like the family on “Leave It to Beaver,” a sitcom thataired in the sixties; the mother isn’t home all day baking and making sure thatthe house is clean. Since family structure has changed, so have the way childrenare being raised.
Society cannot count on all parents to instill morals intotheir children and teach them the facts of life or even the difference betweenright and wrong these days. Parents just don’t have the time for it. Recentlythe Vatican released a document stating that ” parents alone cannot givechildren the positive sex education they need to develop healthy attitudestowards sex” (Euchner). Another view on the subject taken by the NebraskaPublic School system is that sex education in today’s society is to complicatedto be left to “the varying influences of parental attitudes and haphazardenvironmental exposure” (Chaumont et al.
). Besides, even if the parent werearound more often then not, the chances of a child approaching their parentabout the “bird and the bees” is very unlikely. These children need tohave a place were the information on this touchy subject is provided to themwithout them needing to ask. “Kids don’t go asking their parents, this isthe only way for them to find out answers because they are to embarrassed to askanyone else,” says Pallodino, and eighteen-year-old from Virginia. (O’HanlonB8).
In order for children to grow up with the correct information regardingsex, it is necessary to have sex education provided to them in schools. Eventhough sex education seems as if it can do no wrong, there still remain manyLindsell 5 opponents, including many authors who clearly express their view,that are still against it in our schools. There are many reasons why people feellike this, two of which are they feel as if sex education does no good at alland another is that people feel that it is influencing students to have sex. Ellen Hopkins, author of “Sex is for Adults”, says that sex educationdoes many great things , except for the one thing we want it to do, make ourchildren more responsible. (Hopkins 589). She feels as though the informationthat students are receiving is not having any influence on them.
The feelingthat sex education classes are influencing teenagers to have sex is a feelingthat is shared by William Kilpatrick. He states that “as the statisticsshow, American teenagers are living up to expectation. They are having more sexand using more condoms” (Kilpatrick 597). These two individuals, along withmany others, feel that sex education is doing more harm then it is good. Teenagesexual activity has been raising steadily for more than two decades until now. Arecent survey shows the first drop since the nineteen seventies.
In 1990 girlsthat had engaged in sexual intercourse was at fifty-five percent, until 1995when it dropped to fifty percent. The percentage of boys engaging in sexualintercourse also dropped by five percent. The use of condoms have tripled sincethe 1970’s showing people are being safer about sex (Vobejda et al. A1).
A polldone by Reuter’s show that eighty-two percent of the people who participated inthe survey supported sex education in schools (Yahoo). Studies obviously showthat sex education courses are helping today’s teenagers to become moreresponsible for their own actions. The information that sex education providesteenagers is indispensable. Schools are meant to educate our children in notjust one topic but all topics. “Why would anyone on the state BoardLindsell 6 of Education not want to cover something comprehensively? Do we takethat approach with history or math?” says Denice Bruce of Wichita, Kansas(Associated Press). Sexually educating our children is just important if notmore important than math or history because sex education can mean thedifference between life and death of your child.
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Euchner, Charlie. “The Vatican Endorses Sex Education inSchools. ” Teacher Magazine. December 1983: n. pag.
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1997: A1 Lindsell 9 Sex Education and theClassroom Steffanie Lindsell A. Mammary Contemporary Moral Problems T/TR 11:30Final paper Steffanie Lindsell November 2, 1999 Contemporary Moral Problems T/TR11:30 A. Mammary Thesis: With teenage pregnancy rates higher than ever and theimminent threat of the contraction of STD’s, such as HIV, the role of sexeducation in the school is of greater importance now than ever before.