Sex Education Should Be Taught in School

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If you discovered your child had taken up cigarette smoking, how would you respond? Would you simply accept it as typical teenage behavior and supply him with the safest brand of cigarettes available--those lowest in tar and nicotine--or would you respond in a manner that would relate to your child that smoking can cause serious diseases and even death? What if you found out your newly licensed teenage child was drinking alcohol? Would you check that off as "just stuff that teenagers do" and supply him with the safest car possible . . . just in case he decides to drive home from a party drunk? Although these scenarios may sound silly at first, they employ much of the same logic that many parents and schools use when it comes to issues involving teenagers and sex. How many times have you heard the adage: "Kids are going to have sex; it's better that they are protected and practice safe sex." Safe sex? What does that mean? In today's society, it is an unfortunate truth that safe sex has become somewhat of an oxymoron. Sex in the 1990s can be debilitating and even deadly. Further, sexually active teenagers face serious emotional issues as well. The fact remains, however, that no matter what method one uses to "protect" oneself, nothing--aside from abstinence--can assuredly prevent one from catching sexually transmitted diseases or from becoming pregnant. As the status of sex has changed throughout the past century, so has sex education in schools. Before the turn of the twentieth century, education involving sex and human sexuality was limited to "social hygiene."(n1) Such education included information about venereal diseases, physical growth, and human reproduction.(n2) It was not until 1912, when the International Congress of Hygiene recommended a broader study of the topic, that the term "sex education" was adopted.(n3) In the 1920s, sex education programs were generally created in order to combat the increasing social problem of teenage pregnancy.(n4)...
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