Sex Education Should be Taught in Schools
Sex education is an issue that has been under debate for many years. Many people accept the necessity that children need some form of instruction on sex education, but they cannot agree on who should do it and where it should be done. Another issue of contention is the content of sex education. Sex education should not be seen to promote sexual activity among teenagers and young people. Weighing the pros and cons of sex education, it is clear that sex education should be taught in schools.
Sex education should be taught in schools just like any other subject. From their early teen years, children undergo many changes in their bodies that they have no idea about. Informing them about the changes in their bodies help them make informed choices about their bodies (Rasmussen). Young people spend a lot of their time in school. Parents are usually busy at home or work and may be hesitant to talk about sex education at home. School is, therefore, the best place to teach sex education. Parents and guardians should, however, be informed about what their children are educated. There should be meetings with sex education instructors to determine what content should be approved for teaching (Chu 171). At home, parents can take on the responsibility of instilling values so that their children can make the right choices based on what they have been taught.
The first reason as to why sex education should be taught in schools is to address the high number of teen pregnancies and births in the United States. The country has the highest levels of teen pregnancies in the developed world, twice as high as Canada and eight times higher than Japan. Such statistics are a cause for worry. Teaching children sex education will enable them to make informed choices regarding their bodies (Marseille et al 470). Many of these teen pregnancies happen because the young people did not know what to do to keep themselves safe especially during their first sexual encounters, bringing up the point on contraception and sexually transmitted infections.
Sex education should involve lessons on contraception and safe sex. Many young people have their first sexual encounters in their teen years. During this time, most of them do not know a lot about contraception. Many of the things that they know about sex are learned from their peers. Sex education at school allows instructors to provide medically factual information to teenagers (Rubenstein 525). From here, they will be well versed with the options available to them should they decide to have sex. While many people may not want to confront the issue that teenagers begin having sex at an early age, the truth is that they are. Sex education classes give teachers and parents the chance to empower their children to make the best and safest decision when the time comes.
Sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and others are part of sex education. Knowledge of the danger of contracting diseases during sexual activity equips young people with knowledge of how they can keep themselves safe using contraception and other forms of protection. Preventing pregnancy is not the only goal; there are genuine dangers such as HIV that teens may not be aware of. Many of the programs in schools emphasize abstinence and hence do not care to teach about sex, sex is wrong. Such a perspective should be done away so that children of an appropriate age can get the information they need.
Sex education keeps our children safe. Many children today have suffered sexual abuse, mainly in the hands of trusted adults (Rasmussen). The children do not know what is happening to them and they are powerless to stop it. Sex education creates awareness on their bodies and helps them to say no whenever someone intrudes upon them. They get to understand what is wrong from what is right. Sex education helps victims and potential victims of sexual abuse to be in the know and realize that they have someone to talk to when they are caught up in a situation of sex abuse (Chu, 172). The young people learn that it is not a taboo to talk about sex. Sex education also equips young people with communication skills of negotiation and refusal. A teenager gets to understand that they have rights over their bodies and they have the power to say no when they do not want to engage in sexual activity.
One of the reasons that many people give against teaching sex education is that it encourages young people to engage in sex. Statistics show that sex education delays the age of the first sexual encounter (Rubenstein 525). It is critical that instructors be professionally trained so that they know the right language to use and not to encourage but rather inform. Parents and guardians should be left with the responsibility of ensuring their children have the correct values so that they make good choices.
In conclusion, sex education is an integral part of learning for young people. Parents and guardians are not well trained on how to teach their kids about such matters and can create very awkward situations. Teaching sex education at school ensures that children get accurate information in a formal setting where they are free to ask questions. Instructors should be well trained and present factual and unbiased information. It is time to get our heads out of the sand and arm young children with information and values to help them make the right choice regarding their bodies.
Chu, Samuel Kai Wah, et al. “Promoting sex education among teenagers through an interactive game: Reasons for success and implications.” Games for health journal 4.3 (2015): 168-174.
Marseille, Elliot, et al. “Effectiveness of school-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs in the USA: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Prevention Science 19.4 (2018): 468-489.
Rasmussen, Mary Lou. Progressive sexuality education: The conceits of secularism. Routledge, 2015.
Rubenstein, Rachel. “Sex education: funding facts, not fear.” Health Matrix 27 (2017): 525.