Rani A. Perales
Sex Education in Schools
“Sixty-six percent of American high school students have had sex by their senior year” (Masland, 2013, para. 5). Yet, many parents tend to think that if they do not talk to their children about sex then they will not have sex. It is a subject that they shield their teens from. They tend to look the other way when a teen gets pregnant or contracts a Sexually Transmitted Disease. So, when the school decides to take action and teach sex education, society assumes that the school and teachers approve of teen sex; and believe that teenagers are going to engage in sex, thinking they will be immune to STD’s and pregnancy.
It is a toss-up when it comes to parents, teachers, and sex education. Some adults feel that sex education should be taught at home by the parents and some feel that they should learn from schools. When sex education is taught in schools, some feel that the school and even teachers condone teen sex. That is far from the truth, “a study of 35 sex education programs around the world, the World Health Organization found there is no evidence that comprehensive programs encourage sexual activity; the study also concluded that abstinence-only programs are less effective than comprehensive classes that include abstinence and safe-sex practices such as contraception and condom use” (Masland, 2013, para. 5). The schools are not telling students to go have sex, but if they happen to engage in sexual activity the students will know what repercussions might follow. Teachers just want their students to be safe and take precautions. “But in the United States, 46 percent of all high school age students, and 62 percent of high school seniors, have had sexual intercourse; almost nine million teens have already had sex” (Conklin, 2012, para. 1). If teenagers are already engaging in sexual activities, then they should be taught how to protect themselves from diseases and pregnancy. Not all teens are going to decide on having a sexual relationship. Many believe that if you teach a teenager about sex, then they are going to go out and have sex. They frown upon sex education being taught in schools. They do not see that it is actually helping teens make better decisions when it comes to sexual activity. “Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that teenagers who received some type of comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. And in 2007, a federal report showed that abstinence-only programs had “no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence”” (Beadle, 2012, para. 2). Teenagers are having sex, studies have proven that, but they are now waiting just a little longer to engage in sexual activity. Young people are having sex for the first time around age 17; teens are waiting longer to have sex than they did in the recent past (GUTTMACHER Institute, 2014, para. 2,3). Adults also feel that