Sex Ed. Should Not Be Abstinence-Only

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Sex Ed. Should Not Be Abstinence-Only

Currently we have schools teaching about abstinence and how it prevents pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. However, many of these sex education programs do not include or want to include teaching about contraception for the adolescents who are not abstinent. Arguing that including contraception education in the program will send the wrong message about sex or that we are giving teenagers and young adults the "okay" to have sex. Not providing education on contraception will put teenagers who are not abstinent at a greater risk for catching sexually transmitted diseases and becoming pregnant at an earlier age. It is why schools should have sex education that supports abstinence but also teaches about contraception and what teenagers can do in case they decide to be sexually active. An abstinence-only program requires adults to teach teenagers and young adults that, "abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and other associated health problems" (Debra Haffner qtd. in Koch). Of course abstinence is the only certain way, however saying this gives teenagers the idea that contraception like condoms are not effective and are not worth using. These programs only give negative statistics about the failure of condoms. It is not what we want teenagers to think. We want them to practice safe sex. Another form of contraception that teenagers and young adults need to be informed about is birth control (like the pill). There are many birth control choices and teens who are sexually active can make wise choices if the sex education programs provide them with information on where to obtain it. Giving teenagers information on contraception will not encourage them to have sex at an earlier age. A poll taken by the NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School shows that most Americans agree, "(55 percent) believe that giving teens information about how to obtain and...
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