OP: Sex education requires a larger rhetoric

24 September 2019

Abby Jadali

ajadali@uccs.edu

Sex education is a tricky topic when it comes to how much should be taught in the classroom. Many people have different ideas on what information should be given, and what information should be kept for the imagination. A lot of these ideas stem from people’s religious beliefs, but should schools really have to worry about that when it comes to keeping important information from students?

Growing up, the one thing I learned about preteens and teenagers was that they can always find a way to do the things their parents asked them not to do. Telling your teenager that they cannot have sex is fine and important, but that does not necessarily mean they will listen.

According to the 2014 CDC School Health Profiles, fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16 topics recommended by the CDC as essential components of sex education, as mentioned on plannedparenthood.org.

This poses an issue because it means not enough young people know the risks that come with having physical relations, with another person. By withholding this information, teenagers are risking the chance of performing these acts without understanding the necessary measures to stay safe and healthy.

Plannedparenthood.org mentions that fewer young people report receiving any formal sex education at all. Even students can see that their knowledge of sex is lacking but there is nothing they can do about it.

Back home in California, I heard from friends that many of the schools in the area are disregarding oral sex as actual sex. And while the same things may not happen, there are still STD’s and other issues to be considered.

If we do not teach about all forms of physical affection, including kissing, then our students will find themselves in a predicament when they get into relationships.

Keeping this information away from teenagers does not prevent them from participating in these actions. Instead, they will do these things without the proper education.

Sex education is an uncomfortable topic, and if I were a parent, I could see how talking about these things may put ideas in a teenager’s head. But schools and parents really need to look at the bigger picture. They need to acknowledge that they do not have the ability to keep these things away from their kids, but they do have the opportunity to leave them with the tools they need to keep themselves safe.

Do not view sex education as a sinful idea schools are putting in teenagers’ heads. Look at it as a way for schools to not only teach students the fundamentals of sex education, but also teach them about the real world and the possible situations they might encounter in a relationship.

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