What is sex education? Everyone may have a different concept of what sex education means to them. To me, sex education is informing people about sexual intercourse, abstinence, pregnancies, contraception, and sexual transmitted diseases. This topic is generally discussed once puberty has taken place. Sex education is one of the most heated and controversial subject and has been for many years. The issue is not about sex educations being taught in schools but more or less which approach will best postpone sexual activity amongst adolescents. The debate is whether schools should teach our children “Abstinence-Only” or “Comprehensive” sex education and help reduce teen pregnancies and sexual transmitted diseases.
Abstinence-Only sex education is more of a conservative approach on encouraging adolescents to say no to sex and wait until marriage. They believe abstinence is the only absolute effective birth control and prevent the risks of sexual transmitted diseases. One of the advantages in abstinence is that it helps to prevent both emotional and psychological damage such as regretting on having sexual encounter as a young age. However one of the drawbacks on abstinence is that teenagers are more susceptible to risky behavior such as oral and anal sex because virginity is usually connected with vaginal intercourse, whereas oral and anal sex is not. These are the types of risky behaviors make teenagers vulnerable to HIV and other sexual transmitted diseases. As for comprehensive sex education, this teaches adolescents about their own sexual anatomy, sexual intercourse, contraceptives along with the risks of pregnancies and sexual transmitted diseases, as well as abstinence. The only downside I could think of with comprehensive sex education is due to the information given to the teenagers is that they become curious enough to have sex and becoming sexual promiscuous before being mentally and emotionally ready. Both Abstinence-Only and Comprehensive sex education’s purpose is to help adolescent become self aware of the consequences of sexual activities. According to Muddle over Sex Education, teens who experiment in their first sexual encounter at a later age, was due to the sex education taught in schools.
Center of Diseases Control report in 2012 a total of 308,388 babies were born to women between the ages of 15-19, however in this age group it is reported to be a record low. It is also uncertain to the reasons of teen pregnancies dropping but it appears that either birth control is being used or teenagers are less sexually active. Then again is it that the reason for the low teen pregnancies due to comprehensive sex education or that more teens are saying yes to abstinence? Another study states even with the less teen pregnancies at least 47% of high school teenagers have had sex or having sex and 15% of those teenagers has had four or more partners in their adolescent years (CDC). In actuality it is the type of education given inside the public schools that has a substantial effect on teen pregnancies rates. (University of Georgia, 2011) Nonetheless The Center for the Advancement of Health confirm teens who receive comprehensive sex education were 60% lower to become pregnant than those who had no sex education. Opposed to abstinence-only education were 30% less likely to become pregnant than those with no sex education. (2008). For that reason, both comprehensive and abstinence-only sex education seem to have some type of positive influence on reducing teenage pregnancies.
Although the both abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education show to be more effective than those with no sex education when it comes to teen pregnancies. However those who are given abstinence-only education show to be a higher risk than those who received comprehensive sex education to become pregnant. Is it possibly due to the fact that being told no that intrigues those more than those given…