Sex Education in High Schools
Sex education at the high school level in the United States has been based on social trends, public health concerns, politics and other various controversies (FoSE 1). Overtime, however, one thing has remained consistent, the polarizing effect of this issue to the American public. According to the article Sex Education in America, written by the National Public Radio, in recent studies, only seven percent of Americans say that sex educations should not be taught in schools (1). Though the American public seems to overwhelmingly support the teaching of sex education, many others oppose. Opponents argue that schools should not have the right of teaching young people about a deeply personal matter that belongs entirely to families and their religious beliefs. They also argue that sex education encourages too-early sexual activity, and that schools are infringing on parental rights and authority (FoSE 1).
Throughout the 1980s, these arguments began to lose legitimacy as the American public reiterated its support, research convincingly refuted the idea that teaching sex education encouraged sexual activity, and more attention was being paid to the high rates of teen pregnancy. As the 1980s drew to a close, the entire country was paying attention to the new AIDS epidemic. With the epidemic came even more calls for sex education. Supporters and educators used this energy to push for policy changes, training and resources. By 1989, twenty-three states had passed mandates for sexuality education. An additional twenty-three states strongly encouraged sex education, thirty-three mandated AIDS education and seventeen additional states recommended it (FoSE 1).
While advocates were confident about the future of comprehensive sex education, its opponents were becoming more organized. Groups like Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, Moral Majority and the Eagle Forum lead campaigns to harm the reputation of sex education. Aware...
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