A Sexually Educated Youth: My Utopian Vision for the Future of America

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Jacqueline Rivera
Professor Cerny
ENST 209-03
11 April 2012
A Sexually Educated Youth: My Utopian Vision for the Future of America Deciding a utopian vision that I would be familiar with in order to change the process had proved to be quite difficult. Feeling defeated on this paper, I sat down and watched my usual television programming and started to watch a favorite show of mine, ‘16 & Pregnant ‘. I watch ‘16 & Pregnant’ and episode after episode and observe a teenagers trying to raise a child and deal with the consequences of having a child at that age. After empathizing with the latest teenager to appear in the show’s fourth season of airing I realized what I am watching weekly in a sixty to ninety minute part of my day doesn’t need to happen. If teenagers were educated thoroughly throughout their lives on human sexuality and behavior, I believe the rate of teen pregnancy would rapidly decline. A decline in teenagers becoming pregnant would be my utopian vision for the future. In order for a person to start to reform a process, one must analyze the data and declare what is wrong with the current system in order for it to be improved upon or altered. According to StayTeen.org, “… 3 in 10 teen girls in the US will get pregnant at least once before age 20? That's about 745,000 teen pregnancies each year. Yikes.” (Unknown 1) and DoSomething.org states “There is currently no federal law program dedicated to supporting comprehensive sexuality education that teaches young people about both abstinence and contraception” (Unknown1). Though the rate for teen pregnancy is at a record low, there is no sexual education program that is nationally based and federally provided which means the issue starts on a federal level for education and slowly goes in to the state level. The state level sexual education programs are what I like call side effects. I call the state level programs of sexual education side effects because the programs state wide in the United States are so vast and un-identical. The United States cannot say that they deviated from form of sexual education program, that may or may not had an impact on nearly 746,000 teen pregnancies per year, because there is nothing federally to deviate from. The states are working individually to create sexual education programs, but hardly any these programs mirror each other in perspective, for example: As of March 2012:

21 states and the District of Columbia require public schools to teach sex education (including HIV education); 33 states and the District of Columbia require students receive instruction about HIV/AIDS; 18 states require sex education curricula to be medically accurate and/or age appropriate. State policies vary in their determination of “medically accurate;” some require that state health departments review curricula, while others require that the facts taught come from “published authorities upon which medical professionals rely.” (Unknown 1)

This means out of fifty states only twenty- one states have a sexual education program mandated statewide which is only forty-two percent of the country, less than half of the United States. Out of the twenty-one, only eighteen require medically accurate and/or age appropriate sexual education. The last statement is conditionally based because there is a possibility out of the eighteen states, not every state that will require medically based information will contain age suitable information. This shows me the basis of having state based education is not working and needs a federal backing. When I comprehend the course basis for those eighteen states, there has to be a large probability of error in education for the sheer fact that there is a possibility that children are not able to fully comprehend the information they are being taught and are incapable of being curious or aware of the type of questions they need to ask in order to better understand. So what and when is the right way to educate on sex to...
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