Sex education is a process that begins at birth and continues until the day you die. It is a process of building a strong foundation for sexual health. There are many misunderstandings and non-factual opinions that go along with this topic even though it is constantly discussed. It includes sexual development, reproduction, intimacy, gender roles and relationships.
Sexual education should begin at home. Parents and guardians ought to be the primary instructors of sex education for their children. Daily, parents should take advantage of every opportunity to teach this subject to their children. From the beginning of a child’s life, they learn how to respond to affection, show love, and how to react in different types of relationships. Children even learn about their sexuality when their parents speak to them, change their clothes, play with them or teach them their body parts. As they progress from children to teenagers or adolescents they continue to learn about their sexualities consistently. However, some parents and guardians are very uncomfortable about talking about or providing information about sex or sexual education. They are either too embarrassed about talking about the extreme topic of sex, afraid of providing to much information to push their children to act on what they have told them or shy of not knowing the answers to the questions that their children might ask. Honest, open communication between parents and children through childhood, pre-teen, adolescent and young adulthood can help young people to mature into sexually healthy adults. Research has shown that parents and children have a range of discomfort levels when it comes to discussing sexuality.
School-based sexuality education complements and supplements the sexuality education children receive from their families, religious and community groups. Therefore, due to the necessity of school-based sexuality education it is in my opinion that it be a part of the curriculum for students in the Bahamian High Schools that is junior and senior high. This course needs to be taught in the various high schools for a number of reasons including: to students to build a strong foundation, to decrease teenage pregnancy, to make students aware of Sexually Transmitted diseases and prevent them from occurring, to teach about abstinence, which is the better way and to inform the students about sexual orientation and homosexuality.
The primary goal of sex education in the schools should be to help young people to build a foundation as they mature into sexually healthy adults. These programs should assist young people in understanding a positive view of sexuality, provide them with information and skills about taking care of their sexual health and help them make decisions about solving problems now and in the future. According to my interpretation, sex education should provide an opportunity for young people to develop and understand their values, attitudes, and beliefs about sexuality. This course should help young people to develop relationships and interpersonal skills and help them to exercise responsibility regarding sexual relationships including addressing abstinence, pressures to become prematurely involved in sexual intercourse and the use of contraception and other sexual health measures.
Teenage Pregnancy is very rampant in today’s society. In a conversation with a senior high school teacher, she related that at least two young ladies from each senior class graduates being pregnant. She went on to say that this did not include the numerous others who end their classes prematurely as a result of their pregnant state and their inability to continue with regular schooling. What do you think is the cause of this? In my opinion the cause of pregnancies among these teenagers is incorrect education about sex from peers or neighbors or no sex education at all. If these students were educated from their entrance into the high school program with a sexual education class, the outcome might have been different. This does not mean that they would not have experimented with sexual intercourse or the opposite sex, it would have meant that they would have been better prepared to deal with the decisions or choices that they made. Sex education needs to be implemented in the high school coursework to make teenagers or pre-teens aware of the consequences of unprotected sex. Each of these teens or preteens will or have gone through puberty, therefore they need to be very well educated as to what can occur if they are sexually active, even for just one time. Sexual education would not stop teenage pregnancies but it indeed reduces them.
Homosexuality is another topic that sexuality education will discuss. Teenagers come into contact with homosexuals on a day to day basis. They are forced to deal with homosexuality in their homes, their neighborhoods, their churches and even in their schools. These students are in their teen or adolescent years where they are learning about who they are and what their feelings mean. In my opinion, homosexuality is a misunderstanding, one that can be easily adopted by teenagers who are easily misunderstood. If they are not taught about both heterosexuality and homosexuality, they can easily fall prey to the homosexuals who are lurking in the society’s shadows. Sexual education would encourage heterosexuality- healthy relationships between males and females. It would teach students about sexual preference and that homosexuality is not hereditary. It would also help students to deal with feelings toward the same sex and with homosexuals that they come in contact with.
Some may say that if teenagers are taught about sex and sexuality that their interest in it will intensify thus, resulting in experimentation. Although this might indeed be a true statement that teenagers are very curious, “curious minds will experiment.” Sexuality education is not an either or proposition. The reality is that young people need and deserve information about abstinence and contraception. Sex education would teach that sexuality is a natural, normal part of life. Abstinence from sexual intercourse is the most effective method of preventing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
Abstinence is in fact the better way. Adolescent or pre-teens should be encouraged by not only their parents to delay sexual acts until they are physically, cognitively and emotionally ready for mature sexual relationships and their consequences. The coursework of sex education would offer them a wide range of information exclusively on abstinence until marriage. Interventions that are effective in encouraging teenagers to postpone sexual intercourse helps them to develop interpersonal skills they need to resist premature sexual involvement. For interventions to be most effective, teenagers need to be exposed to these programs before they initiate intercourse, preferably during their high school years.
The sex education curriculum when implemented into the high school system will be designed to promote knowledge about human development and reproduction, to make students aware of the consequences of all types of sexual activity, and to promote young people’s respect for and appreciation of themselves, their families and others. This implementation would in fact help to reduce teenage pregnancy, for the reason that important topics such as puberty, sexual health and hygiene, reproductive systems, pregnancy and contraception will be focused on. These topics will discuss abstinence, condom use, diversity, pregnancy options, safer sex and sexual behavior. Students have to be encouraged to accept the shared responsibility of pregnancy prevention by teachers explaining the consequences of premature and unprotected sexual activity, urging responsible decisions about sexual intercourse, and encouraging healthy, respectful and safe male and female relationships.
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This argumentative essay deciphers the reasons in which sex education should be implemented in scholarly environments such as core area classes.
To support this argument, the following essay contains historical background, statistics, and facts from credible sources. All of these things will allow the reader to see why a sex education class should be taught in schools. The credible information gathered to put this essay together was obtained from Google, sex education-based websites like Advocates for Youth and Future of Sex Education Initiative (FoSE), and lastly, a book regarding the values of sex education. The most difficult task that I stumbled upon while completing my essay was implementing source-based information throughout certain parts of my paper in order to make the essay credible. While I soon adapted to the idea of adding sources, plugging in said sources became second nature to me and one of the easiest things I did while typing this essay.In the past couple decades, the topic of a sex education class has come out of the dark and is now a full-on controversial issue. This is because of the effects it has had on our youth as well as the generation before and after it. It is very common now to hear of more and more teens with sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancies, and even school dropouts. However, this controversy results from individuals seeing this as a recreational course as opposed to a serious issue. Not only this, but also the fact that many students, and even parents, are subject to embarrassment when talking about sex. Even though sex education is taught in some states, uttering such a course is basically illegal in others. Because of this, teens are suffering from the effects of not being properly educated on the topic of sex education. Such a course would not only dispel myths surrounding sex, but it would also help sexually active students stay responsible and can have an impact on the prevention of sex-based problems in the future.
This issue has always been a problem, but it is definitely being looked at more cautiously now due to the time period and how uncommon and morally wrong it would be if teens threw away, not only their education but also their lives because of a careless mistake. However fresh this issue is, it does have a very interesting historical background. Throughout most of the twentieth century, over ninety percent of families were for the idea of a sex education course in high school and about eighty percent were for such a course in middle school. However great these numbers are, a vast amount of people was also highly against it. They argued that students should not be taught about such personal things and that this course might encourage them to participate in the too-early sexual activity and even referred to the mere consideration of this course as “smut education”.
Throughout the 1980’s, this argument began to fade away mainly because the American public reiterated its full support. Not only this, but research refuted the conclusive idea that teaching this course encouraged sexual activity. This was mainly because more attention was being paid to the increasingly high rates of pregnant teens. As this era was coming to a near end, people began to hear of a new AIDS epidemic. With this, protests erupted calling for the immediate implementation of sex education in schools.
All of this banter reached state and federal governments and led to the following accomplishments: Twenty-three states had passed mandates for sexuality education and thirty-three mandated AIDS education. A couple of months after this, publishers got in on this issue and the SEICUS published “Sex Education 2000: A Call to Action.” This call outlined thirteen specific goals ensuring that all children received some form of comprehensive sexual-based education before the year 2000.
While the majority of people were optimistic about these changes, there were those few newly-formed groups such as Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the Eagle Forum, and Moral Majority that acknowledged the significance of this course but believed that the only message that should be taught is that sexual behavior outside of marriage was incorrect. They worked their way through school boards and school administration advocating their beliefs and eventually stumbled upon a great success at the national level. The Adolescent Family Life Act’s (ALFA) three main goals were to prevent teen pregnancies through self-discipline and chastity, to promote adoption for pregnant teens and to care for pregnant and parenting teens. These groups began to receive quiet success and challenged the way such courses are implemented today. While many schools are desperate to teach a sex education class, lack of funding has prohibited their will to do so. Not only this, but some states’ growing STD rates and pregnancy rates have shown the long-term effects of the absence of this course.
Theoretically, having this class will not only prevent unwanted pregnancies and diseases, but it will also dispel myths surrounding sex. Though many states who implement sex education classes have the privilege of teaching students the proper way to take care of themselves when engaging in something that is completely natural, those who live in states that do not offer such classes have had to learn the hard way, or at least tried to. Many students from these states are in high school and still are not one hundred percent sure about what is true and what is not regarding sex. Those who did not learn faced serious and life-changing consequences. If a sex education class were to be implemented in these states, high school students will finally know the truth about engaging in sexual intercourse. In reality, classes like these prove to be effective because the topic is discussed by a professional and the class will give students the necessary information they will never find in some book or movie. These young people have every right to know about their sexuality because this is what will lead them to make responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. After all, it is better that these young adults are well informed about the topic rather than unfamiliar with it.
The Advocates for Youth Organization, an organization that specializes in rights, respect, and responsibility, wrote an exquisite article regarding the many myths dealing with sex-related topics. Reading through some of them can promise an eye-opening experience, especially to those who have never taken a sex education class in their previous years. Here are a few of those beliefs: Though many believe condoms are not effective, they actually prevent diseases like HIV and STI’s and well if used correctly. Many people uphold firm convictions that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs work, but they have proven to be quite ineffective. Lastly, it is thought out that comprehensive sexuality education encourages others to have sex, however, research clearly demonstrates that sex education can assist young people in delaying sexual initiation.
When it comes to responsibility, programs like these play an important part in the matter. Implementing sex education programs throughout the entire nation will result in teens becoming more responsible and cautious of their actions. Not only this, but they will also avoid sex-based problems in the near future. The generation of today will understand the consequences of their actions and think twice about doing something they might regret because it might completely ruin their life in the long run. This poses as a positive for the majority of parents who are concerned with keeping their kids safe and healthy through adolescence. As seen through a recent poll on plannedparenthood.org, even though a large percentage of parents talk to their kids about sex-related issues, they do not necessarily tackle the ones crucial for the prevention of sex-based problems that might be soon to come. Because of this, it is important that sex education classes be implemented throughout the United States in order to allow young adults to engage in becoming more responsible and mature when it comes to talking about this topic. Not only must this but in order to create such strong-willed students, one teaches them the main purpose of sex education. This primary reason for teaching sex education is to not only give students more information on the topic but also to promote sexual health and sprout early maturity.
Despite the fact that films and novels are not the best options when attempting to receive further information on the topic of sex, watching or reading such things can aid teens in learning about how much one’s life can change if they are not responsible.
Nowadays, education is the most important thing when it comes to building a great future backbone. Hence, having a sex education class will not only prevent sex-based problems in high school but the in future as well. While students are learning a variety of subjects in order to gather all of the knowledge needed to shape their future, a sex education class always seems to pose as a negative on the roster of many educational districts. As a result, high school students are not being properly educated on this subject many of them seem to engage in carelessly. In other words, because many sexually-active adolescents are not educated on the long-term effects of having sex, these individuals end up suffering the consequences. A few of these include teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). These long term effects not only change the lives of those teens but also the life of those unplanned children. Throughout the years, teen pregnancy rates have skyrocketed and many believe that it is due to the absence of a sex education course. Seeing this, it might not surprise many to know that this increase in teen pregnancies is linked to an increase of overpopulation in adoption centers, foster homes, and even abortion clinics. Implementing such a course in school will educate the average high school student just enough to understand sex in a proper and mature manner.
In most of the Southern states such as Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Mississippi and Oklahoma, the individuals who reside there only believe to hear of these courses in myths or fairy tales. Throughout the nation, a variety of states teach this subject to some extent, but in the states mentioned above the topic of sex education is non-existent. While these countries are highly against such a course, the effects of not having one have begun to show. There is a positive correlation between the lack of a sex education class in these states and the highest number of pregnancy rates nation, also within every single one of these states.
Even though all this is true, many individuals still believe that this course serves as a negative due to the fact that the students will gradually be subject to embarrassment. This might seem quite valid at first, but if one really dwells on the thought, it may be seen that the idea of not taking a course due to fear of ridicule is completely ridiculous in itself. If the student does not take this class, the long-term consequences of not being properly educated may come back to haunt them. Because the student was so mortified to learn the material, they never truly knew what was correct and what was not. Hence, teens are forced to put their life on hold all due to their decisions that were triggered by the fear of humiliation. This can be seen clearly within teenagers who now suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and especially teenage pregnancies. If only these students, who were a novice in such a subject, had taken the sex-based course. Evidently, it would have only benefitted them in the future.This embarrassment that comes with discussing sex is not only seen within peers but parents as well. While the topic is something highly critical to the future of many young adults, many parents believe that if they avoid the topic of sex in their household, their children will grow up avoiding it completely. Although it may seem that these parents are only doing this to adhere to what is most beneficial to their offspring, the idea that they are going to high school knowing nothing about such a matter that is being practiced by some of said offspring’s peers can confuse the teen even more. Many people today refer to the conversation about sex between one’s guardian as “the talk.” However, if this talk is avoided, it might make teenagers quite frustrated because their friends know something they do not, making them feel detached and out of the loop. This will then result in said teens asking their parents for further guidance. Because these parents are highly conservative, all the information these young adults will get is not to have sex at all. While some might diligently obey, the majority of teens today take pride in being rebellious and will do it purposely in order to go against the demands of their parents. This, again, may lead to the serious consequences that come along with getting involved in sexual intercourse while not actually knowing what it is nor what it can bring upon.
Next, it might appear as if these students are being properly educated the basics of this topic through a brief health class, but that is not the case. Even though it serves as a positive that these students are learning about the importance of one’s well-being, this health class does not completely focus on sex. The purpose of a health class is to discuss the things to avoid in order to keep our bodies evergreen. Also, because this class is treated as an extracurricular as oppose to a core-area course, many young individuals see it as a class that lacks importance. This inflicts a domino effect, proving that if the students are not motivated to learn the subject, the educator will not find purpose in teaching it, let alone teaching it properly. While it may seem as if it “lacks importance,” it is very well the only class that even remotely offers the use of the word “sex” as a vocabulary term. This three-letter word might not seem worthy of its own primary class subject, but what many fail to realize is that once looking at the effects of engaging in sexual intercourse, they will see why.
Since the topic of sex education came into the light decades ago, it has remained a controversial issue. While many individuals argue against such a course, it can be clearly seen that the lack of one in most schools has sprouted some negative consequences. With this class, students will be able to discover the facts about sex, guide them in the path towards remaining responsible and even prevent them from engaging in future sex-related problems. The majority of schools throughout the nation do not provide a sex education class. This, as sad as it is to say, can be reflected in the higher amounts of sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancies, and even abortions as well as the growing number of children in the foster care system every year. Though the effects of not being knowledgeable when it comes to sex are grand, no one has seemed to do anything regarding the issue. The long-term effects can change the lives of one’s co-workers, neighbors, friends, and even family members. This issue reaches everyone in one way or another, but by demanding that a sex education class become a mandatory course to be taken in the first year of high school, the not-so-distant futures of those young individuals will not be cut short by a tragedy that was the effect of not knowing, but instead, will be lived to the fullest because these teens will know better.
Also published on Medium.
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