What is the right age to begin teaching sex education to kids? About 820,000 young women are pregnant before the age of twenty. There is no denying that teen pregnancy has risen tremendously in the past few years. Girls younger and younger are becoming pregnant. Babies essentially are having babies. These young girls do not personally have the ability to raise a child when they are only a child themselves. Financially they are unable to care for the baby and that is putting more people on welfare and other government programs which are costing at least “seven billion dollars annually” (Family Fist Aid). Not only are these girls financially unstable and young, but many do not get proper prenatal care for their infant. Babies are born sick and unhealthy and end up with lifelong problems. Parenting is a full time job and should be done with a mom and a dad. Teen mothers today are learning to be single parents. So often the dads abandon the mom and leave them stranded with no one to turn to. Seventy nine percent of all pregnancies are to unmarried teens (Family First Aid). Many babies should be given up for adoption so they may be raised in a loving family who is ready to parent and has the ability to. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. These babies are being raised in a situation that is unhealthy and has potential to be damaging as the child gets older. Many of these teen moms and dads were never taught about the different methods of birth control and the importance of it. Most schools have chosen to restrict the teaching of sex education because of so much controversy. I feel that since teen pregnancy is rapidly on the rise, mandatory sex education should be taught in all schools. This essay shall focus on the importance of teaching methods of birth control while still giving attention to the input that parents think. Furthermore, the astounding statistics of teen pregnancy and the impact on the lives of both the child and parents shall be presented. This essay will attempt to express both arguments, but will ultimately side with mandatory sex education in schools.
Parents recognize the fact that teen pregnancy is growing tremendously, but they still feel as though having sex education in schools would not decrease the amount of teen pregnancy. One argument is that the parents want to teach their teen about birth control methods. They do not want a stranger giving their opinion about which method is best or whether it’s ok to have sex or not. The health teacher’s job is to simply inform the students about birth control methods and not to tell them what is right or wrong. Often times if a teacher feels strongly about a subject they will instill that value or view in the students. Parents are concerned with their child being taught something against their family values or views. Parent’s second argument is that they do not want their kid(s) learning adult material to soon. They are concerned with the fact that if they are exposed to this material to early it will plant ideas in their head. Parents are afraid that their child will become sexually active because of now knowing it can be safe and that it is very common. The last argument parents made was that they do not believe their teen is sexually active yet. Many parents are naive in this subject and do not want to think or know that their teen is having sex. Parents that believe this do not see the need for sex education to be mandatory because not all teens need it. Parents have made some valid points, but when you consider an average household and the average teen they are not. First, many parents believe that it is their responsibility and right as a parent to teach their child about sex education, and not that of the school. This is true, but most parents never talk to their kids about birth control or the importance of abstinence. It is so easily overlooked in the craziness life brings. Many kids learn unfortunately through trial and error or from other more “experienced” students. Most people begin to become sexually active in high school. For many parents this is still an absurd age. They do not want their teen being exposed to adult material like this too soon. Another reason that so many parents don’t like the idea of sex education is because they believe their child is not sexually active. Parents want to think the best about their kids and so many times they put what they know or suspect in the back of their head because they are denying the truth. Just because parents have raised their kids with good values and pounded in their heads abstinence only, doesn’t mean that is what they will stand by or slip up. No one knows the perfect age to begin to teach and learn about sex education. It only takes one time to get pregnant and sometimes those situations just happen. If kids do not get educated and perhaps end up in a sticky situation they won’t know what to do. Teen pregnancy is occurring at younger and younger ages. Whether a teen or preteen decides to use what they have learned or remain abstinent, it is never too late or too early to educate a teen and help stop teen pregnancy. Society today has changed immensely. Things that used to be taboo and forbidden have now become accepted and tolerated. Teen pregnancy is no exception. It has become normal, tolerated, accepted, and sadly expected. With the teen pregnancy rate on the rise and no sex education in schools, this rate is sure to grow steeper and steeper. Sex education should be in schools to educate the students on methods of birth control and the consequences they will have if they do not use protection while having intercourse. Before sex education was taken out of most schools, the rate of teen pregnancy was much less. Today, many schools only teach abstinence only rather than comprehensive sex education. Whether there is truly a connection between teen pregnancies and the astounding rate of growth, or if it is just the teens making a lifelong choice so they can be together or grow up faster, only they know. There is not a solution to completely stop teens from becoming pregnant. Unfortunately, many teen are voluntarily choosing to make the wrong choice and not use protection. In that moment they do not consider what could potentially be the rest of their lives. Most believe it couldn’t happen to them, but unfortunately they too have just brought another baby into this world. More than likely they financially are not stable and will not stay together. This will be one more child who will have the effects of no dad or no money. Sex education is there as a tool and a way to educate. It is not there to provide values or views, but simply to put the knowledge out there and to save one more teen from becoming pregnant.
The National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (n.d.). Teen Pregnancy Statisic and Teen Pregnancy Facts. In Family First Aid. Retrieved October 18, 2009, from http://www.familyfirstaid.org/teen-pregnancy.html