Sexual Education - It's Worth the Whole Picture

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Katherine Elizabeth Hoelscher
High school AP English
February 27, 2007
Sex Education: It’s Worth the Whole Picture

Education is a key element in the life of an adolescent; it is the factor that establishes their future. While reading, writing, and arithmetic are the spotlights of our education system today, sex education is just as large of a part. Sex education is not only what establishes our awareness of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but also another life changing event - teen pregnancy. What if there was something someone could do to help prevent these two undesired events? There is, the education system of America can be forthright and give students a broader knowledge of sex education.

A definition by Wikipedia states that sex education is a broad term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, and other aspects of human sexual behavior. Sex education is divided into two main branches; comprehensive sex education and abstinence-only sex education. The two methods have the same basic purposes but vary in their overall message.

Comprehensive sex education teaches that abstinence is the best method for avoiding STDs and unintended pregnancy, but it also teaches students about condoms and contraception. It also teaches interpersonal communication skills and helps young people explore their own values, goals, and personal options (“Sex Education Programs: Definitions & Point-by-Point Comparison”). Comprehensive sex education allows adolescents to learn all of the facts of sex, including contraception, if they choose to live a sexually active life style, while protecting them from STDs and unexpected pregnancy. On the other hand, the abstinence-only method of sex education conservatively teaches the prevention of STDs and unintended pregnancy.

Abstinence-only sex education teaches abstinence as the only morally correct option of sexual expression for teenagers. The Advocates for Youth...
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