18 October 2012
The Necessities of Comprehensive Sexual Education
Teenagers in many schools are lacking imperative education, and not necessarily the sort of education that one may refer to as routine curriculum such as math or reading. This much needed education revolves around the ever so prominent existence of sexuality among high school teenagers. Although this education is much needed, there has been a substantial amount of controversy regarding the subject of comprehensive sexual programs. Should high school students be educated or should they be blind sighted by the thought of abstinence? This is a question that faces many parents and school officials with the increase of teenagers becoming sexually active. Comprehensive curriculums incorporate a variety of topics ranging from teen pregnancy to abstinence. The other option is to incorporate abstinence-only programs which encourage students to abstain from sexual intercourse and shield them from the reality of sex. Comprehensive sexual education should be condoned in schools, rather than the alternate abstinence-only course because comprehensive sexual education teaches students how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies, increase the awareness of contraceptives, and fortify the responsibility of sexually active teens. Comprehensive sexual education programs provide constructive information about preventing STDs and teenage pregnancies. 90% of parents believe that sexual education programs should be required in schools and should emphasize topics such as STDs and pregnancy (Wirthman para. 37). It is evident by these astounding percentages that it is essential for teenagers to know about these so-called “revealing” topics, not only for health and prevention, but for future aid and knowledge. Students that are enrolled in sex education courses, that only provide knowledge about abstinence, are not taught about how STDs are transmitted from one partner to another. Approximately one million teens get pregnant every year in the United States (At Issue: Pregnancy para. 1); that gives schools an even stronger indication as to why they should integrate information about sex and its consequences, into daily lesson plans. All-inclusive sexual curriculum not only necessitates the education of STDs and pregnancy, but also promotes the use of contraceptives for students that are sexually active. The promotion of contraceptives through sexual education initiates healthy decision amongst high school teenagers. Universal condom-access can help reduce drop-out rates in high schools due to sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies (Graham para. 9). Teen mothers have limited prospects and are sometimes unable to complete high school (At Issue: Pregnancy para. 1). By educating teens, about the consequences of not using condoms or birth control, there is stronger assurance that teenagers will not engage in irresponsible sexual activities that can result in life altering consequences. Preached-to-youths will not ignore sex; in fact, they are more vulnerable to teen pregnancy and STDs because they are not well-informed about contraceptives (Sensible Sex Education para. 2). In this day and age, it is an uncommon situation where a teenager stays pure until marriage; modern culture influences adolescents otherwise. Those who are taught to stay abstinent will be unaware of the importance regarding the use of contraceptives. Lawrence Stallworth II, a 20 year old diagnosed with AIDS, agrees that youth need to learn about the importance of condoms and birth control. “I want people to have the tools to keep them safe and part of that involves society getting better at being more open about being able to talk about sex”, says Stallworth (Neergaard para. 18). The fact that high school students are unaware of the importance of contraceptives depicts how essential comprehensive curriculum is for teens. It also...