The Need for a Comprehensive Sex Education in American Schools

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Abstinence-only education has always been the prevalent theme in sex education in American public schools. Although it’s been a practice for so long, abstinence-only sex education has proven to be ineffective in preventing pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in teenagers and young adults. In order to reduce the growing rates of teen pregnancy and STD’s, a comprehensive sex education program that explains the importance of contraception and sexual health for the active teen should be taught in conjunction with the benefits of abstaining from sexual activity. In 1997, Franklin County, North Carolina removed chapters on sexual behavior, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases from their ninth grade health textbooks. The school board who ordered the removal of these chapters also instructed teachers to discuss the failure of contraceptives, and if asked about AIDS, to say the disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted primarily by contaminated needles and illegal homosexual acts. Even though national and state polls show that eighty to ninety percent of adults support sex education to include the use of contraception and disease prevention in addition to abstinence (Donovan), school districts still keep their abstinence-only sex education programs. With so many adults, including parents, supporting a comprehensive sex education program, the transition to a new program would be widely accepted and easily implemented. Change is always met with opposition, but it is unacceptable for student to remain uneducated about sex, sexuality, and the dangers unsafe encounters will present if they aren’t safe. Although teens recognize that remaining abstinent is the only way to avoid pregnancy and disease, many still engage in sexual activity. Adolescents who choose to have sexual intercourse need to understand the importance of using an effective contraceptive every time they have sex. This requires convincing sexually active teens who have...
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