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Sex Education

In: Social Issues

Submitted By katelinmichelle
Words 5851
Pages 24
I chose to investigate sexual education because it is a policy area that hits close to home. Sexual Education is an issue with many facets, but it falls under the larger umbrella of reproductive freedom. Many people would consider themselves either pro-life or pro-choice, but there is also a middle section that is less defined. This section is present because of cases like rape, health difficulties, or future health of the baby. With education, it is less black and white in the eyes of the general populace. Further, sides are frequently taken due to religious beliefs. Education is typically a more local issue, but it has a large impact on the rate of pregnant teens, which ultimately funnels into the debate over abortion. More specifically, the federal government has to take action on both abortion and sexual education because of their inter-connectedness. With that said, the focus of my policy is primarily the need for comprehensive sexual education. I work for the American Civil Liberties Union, and within this I am a part of TACL. The point of this group is to focus on civil liberties for students. With the passage of the abstinence only bill in Tennessee, I feel as though my liberties have been taken. I believe that you cannot stop students from doing what is natural by not teaching them about it or teaching them about protection. Studies show that in states with abstinence only education laws, the pregnancy rate is much higher. I want to focus my research on education about safety and reproduction. If no one teaches a student about how to protect him or herself from STIs or pregnancy, the chances of them avoiding this are much smaller. I can see why lawmakers think that if you don’t teach a student about options other than abstinence it will cut down their sexual activity, but with television and media, all students are aware of these activities. It is not realistic to think that students will go through high school and never involve themselves in sexual activity just because they did not learn about it in school. Furthermore, it does not prepare them for life past high school if they do not know how to protect themselves. The benefit to education about sexual protection in high school is that students learn about safety for both themselves and the opposite sex. Every person should be responsible for knowing how to protect his or her partner also. It is not only a woman’s responsibility to protect herself, but instead it is dual responsibility for the man and woman to protect each other. A man is just as responsible for pregnancy as a woman and that is how it should be taught. Without education, men can get a false sense that it is not their problem if they get a woman pregnant. Education is a necessary resource for both the protection of equality and protection of the body. Lastly, we live in an overpopulated world and AIDS runs rampant. What separates America from some of the developing countries is our education. Education cuts back on disease and helps to prevent STIs. We have the capability of providing formal sexual education and helping to protect our citizens from incurable diseases. The improvement in other countries has been clearly linked with increased knowledge and choice. We should provide our young people with this knowledge to make a better tomorrow. Education is a privilege, but it is one that sustains our country. All students deserve to be educated. It is our right. Sexual Education is a complex issue because of the many facets. There is the religious bias and also the issue of implementation. Also, it is difficult to monitor each classroom to ensure that the material is taught appropriately. Further, there is wide disagreement regarding the correct way to teach such a sensitive topic. Proponents of comprehensive sexual education say that it is completely necessary and abstinence only education can be incorrect and distort information. They say that educating young people thoroughly helps them to make good, healthy choices about sex and relationships. Teens who receive sexual education at home and in school are more likely to postpone sexual experimentation longer than their peers. When it is presented as a serious but healthy adult activity, teens are more likely to wait than if it is presented as a social taboo. Education helps them to make the best decisions for themselves rather than just listening to peer pressure and not knowing what they can do for themselves. Furthermore, with the threat of HIV/AIDS, the topic is even more relevant. Proponents of sex education think that those who promote abstinence-only education are denying reality. Young people are having sex and proponents say that they need to be able to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and disease. Those who support sexual education say that abstinence should be included, but it should not be the sole message. They say that there is a significant difference between education and promotion. They assert that telling adolescents that sex outside of marriage will inevitable lead to disease, pregnancy, emotional devastation, or a combination is inaccurate and can have harmful affects for years. Not talking to students honestly and openly about sex puts them in a position where they don’t feel that they can ask questions to protect themselves. Further, it sends a bad message to teens by marginalizing them, and instead they should help them navigate through the world and learn to make healthy, responsible, and informed choices. Supporters of abstinence education say that abstinence is the only 100% foolproof way to prevent pregnancy and STI infections. Therefore, they say that it is the only method that should be presented to students. They say that teaching students about safer sex just gives them a sense of false security. Abstinence supporters say that teaching a mix of comprehensive and abstinence education gives students a mixed message. Supporters say that telling kids that sex should happen in the confines of marriage and then following that with information on how to use birth control is counterproductive. Further, they say that physical problems, emotional problems, and life-long relationship problems can emerge from sexual activity. They also say that teens that engage in sexual activity are more likely to engage in other behavior such as drinking and smoking. They believe that comprehensive sex education encourages sexual activity in teens. They believe that it has a large impact on society and what we are lacking is not knowledge about sex, but instead we are lacking values. They want to tell teenagers that sex is not an appropriate activity. They believe that teens have too causal of an attitude toward sex and morals. In terms of print media, there were not as many sources trying to affect public opinion. The New York Times only had 2 articles in the past year. CNN only had 1 article and Washington Post only had one article. There were 2 articles from Fox News and 5 From Associated Press. The Huffington Post had 116 articles. The major source of print media was definitely the Huffington Post, although they did run one of the Associated Press articles. Sexual Education was treated more favorably then unfavorably in my opinion. There were quite a few articles talking about comprehensive sex education. This could impact the public by releasing more information that is pro sex education. If more information with this viewpoint reaches the public, then they will be more likely to be educated from that perspective and therefore more likely to support that side. If more information is being put out that supports sex education, then policy makers might think that comprehensive sex education is the most popular stance. They might form their policy agenda with this viewpoint in mind. The article “You Can’t be Neutral On a Moving Train.” from the Huffington Post says, “When religious conservatives in Utah tried to pass a bill banning sex education in public schools, over 40,000 Utahans signed a petition urging the governor to veto the bill -- and he did.” The majority of the print media is more liberally focused. NPR ran the majority of the stories dealing with sex education on the radio. There were articles supporting each side, including “Abstinence-Only Education Works According to New Study,” but there were more in support of comprehensive sex education. There were also articles about religious organizations trying out sex education, which is definitely shining a favorable light on my topic. NPR is widely listened to and since more are pro-sex education, people might lean toward this viewpoint. NPR tends to be slightly more liberal, and the listeners tend to be more liberal, so it may not affect the listeners very much. At least it may not change their viewpoint. As for policy makers, it was mostly even coverage and since it is slightly liberal, I don’t think it has as much affect. The Sean Hannity Show only had 4 hits for sex education. All of the articles were about who should retain control over sex education: parents or schools? All of the videos came from Sean Hannity. They were definitely not favorable. Based on the ratio of hits, I’d say that the public gets more information on a liberal standpoint of the issue. I don’t think it has as much impact on the general public, because they aren’t running enough stories. Because the topic isn't as popular as some others, it is not really covered and thus not affecting the public or policymakers as much. As a side note, Parks and Recreation, has done numerous pieces dealing with sex education this year. One major effect that the media does have on the public is more directly related the mindset of teenagers then sex education law itself. Most TV shows promote sexual or promiscuous behavior. One popular show is Jersey Shore, and everyone on it is engaging in sexual behavior. Another show would be the Secret Life of an American Teenager or Family Guy. Gossip Girl is another popular example. Even shows that don’t seem to have tons of promiscuous behavior still have at least a few episodes where it is quite prominent. Furthermore, researchers for the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only 14% of shows depicting sex also contained references to safe sex. This same study shows that 7 in 10 television shows watched by teens now contain some form of sexual content. There were 3,780 sexual scenes found in 1,000 of the shows sampled. Furthermore, the study found that teens see about 6 sexual scenes per hour when watching prime time. The study also linked the increase of media consumption with sexual content to the age that teens start having sex. Thus, broadcast media might not currently have as much to say about sexual education in schools, but they are having a large impact on the general public and the way teens view sex. Sex Education is a very broad topic and because of this there were a lot of websites with either articles about sex education or they were dedicated to sex education. Most of the sites either gave an overview or were pro-sex education. This could give the general public and policymakers more information regarding the benefits of sex education and not give as much of an opposite argument. Any arguments against were generally coming from religious resources. The Advocates for Youth site, which promotes sexual education, has a sex education resource center and a large part of the site is dedicated to sex education. The Science Daily does an overview of the sex education topic. Planned Parent also comes up and the University of California at San Francisco has an extensive scientific report of comprehensive sex education vs. abstinence only. These websites put out statistical and factual information that can help policy makers to make the best decision for the populace. According to the 2012 Democratic Party Platform, the Democratic Party supports evidence-based and age appropriate sex education. Their platform says, “The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empowers people to make informed choices and live healthy lives.” Ontheissues.org also shows that the Democratic Party supports comprehensive sex education. The issue is not front and center but each side does take a specific stance. The Huffington Post did an article on the Republican Party Platform in 2012. The Republican Party platform issues “a renewed call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with abstinence education, as that is the only way to protect against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases. Branching off of that, the party opposes school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling and related services for abortion and contraception.” This quote was posted in the article, but came directly from the Republican Party Platform 2012 under the header, Consumer Choice In Education. The interest groups can file lawsuits, educate, go public, or involve themselves in electioneering. There haven’t been very many lawsuits recently, but we have seen a large increase in public education. The American Civil Liberties Union is one interest group that promotes sex education. They have put out press releases, videos, web pages, and other resources to let teens and parents know about sex education. NARAL Pro-Choice America works more specifically on reproductive choice, but they also work on sex education. The purpose is to protect a woman’s right to choose. They accomplish this through “lobbying Congress to convince your elected representatives to support your right to choose, organizing women and men to make sure that lawmakers hear from the pro-choice people they represent, connecting what happens in Congress or in the states to how it affects your ability to make private decisions, like choosing legal abortion, working with our state affiliates to advance ideas that are good for women's freedom, fighting back against the bad ideas that threaten our privacy, and using the political process to elect lawmakers who share our pro-choice values and defeat candidates who don't.” Essentially, Pro-Choice America also uses electioneering and lobbying to promote sexual education. They put out a yearly report called “Who Decides? The Status of Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States”. They overview what laws have been put in place on the topic of reproductive freedom on a state and federal level. They also put out a large number of press releases. Advocates for Youth champions efforts to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Advocates believe it can best serve the field by boldly advocating for a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health. Advocates for Youth has three core values. The core values are Rights Respect. Responsibility. For rights, they say youth have the right to accurate and complete sexual health information, confidential reproductive and sexual health services, and a secure stake in the future. For respect, they say that youth deserve respect. Valuing young people means involving them in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies that affect their health and well-being. Finally, for responsibility, they say that society has the responsibility to provide young people with the tools they need to safeguard their sexual health, and young people have the responsibility to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. They put out policy publications, press releases, and they have a research center. They also put out a lot of information to parents and educators including a curriculum. They have compiled tons of information regarding current policy and tons of information on how to advocate. There is also a sex education research center with endless facts and reliable databases and sources. They also have a youth activism group and other resources for teens. They don’t put out any reports to policymakers but they do provide many resources. There have also been a number of polls that show how the general populace feels about sex education. In a Pew Research “Daily Numbers” poll, findings showed that 78% of Americans favor providing birth control information in sexual education classes. Among them, 72% of white Protestants, 79% of white Catholics, and 92% of secular people support providing birth control information. Among 18-24 year olds, there is the highest amount of support at 83%. It is 81% for people age 25-64, but 65+ only shows 65% support. 76% of Americans also favor teaching abstinence, but also providing birth control information. 85% of Protestants, 78% of white Catholics, and 62% of secular people support this. Ages 18-24 show 75% support and ages 65+ show 71% support. One of the reasons the results may look like this is that those who support abstinence education typically don’t support birth control education. Also, there may be a lower percentage that supports abstinence education while also providing birth control information because studies have shown that many of the curriculum programs with abstinence education give misinformation. Regardless, this poll shows that a majority of Americans support sexual education that encompasses birth control (i.e. comprehensive sex education). This poll also shows that fewer voters over the age of 65 would support comprehensive sex education. These voters may tend to be more conservative and would not support my policy. Those voters could affect the policy agenda by not supporting comprehensive sex education. With that said, there is still a majority in support of birth control education. According to an NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation/Kennedy School of Government poll with a 3% margin of error, 67% of students grade 7-12 (7-8=72% and 9-12=65%) felt that money should be used to fund comprehensive sex education programs rather than abstinence only. Furthermore 66% of students thought it should be required and not optional. Being a 39-page report with many different polls, I cannot cite all that relate to my topic. These polls show a different perspective; they show that students want sex education in their schools. All of the polls showed that students wanted very comprehensive sexual education and they want it to be mandatory. Since students can’t vote, it doesn’t affect policy agenda as much, but if the students want it then clearly something needs to be done. Even though they cannot vote, they can advocate and many students do. Advocating can affect policy agenda heavily. Also, they might affect their parent’s views, which would also affect policy agenda. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a majority of Americans (55 percent) believes that giving teens information about how to obtain and use condoms will not encourage them to have sexual intercourse earlier than they would have otherwise (39 percent say it would encourage them), and 77 percent think such information makes it more likely the teens will practice safe sex now or in the future (only 17 percent say it will not make it more likely). When it comes to the general approach to teaching sex and sexuality in schools, Americans divide almost evenly. Respondents were asked to choose which of two statements was closer to their belief: (1) "When it comes to sex, teenagers need to have limits set; they must be told what is acceptable and what is not." Or (2) "ultimately teenagers need to make their own decisions, so their education needs to be more in the form of providing information and guidance." Forty-seven percent selected the first statement; 51 percent selected the second. Parents of seventh and eighth graders were more likely to choose the first statement (53 percent) than the second (45 percent); parents of high school students were evenly divided. Conservatives were much more likely to choose the first statement over the second (64 percent to 32 percent), as were evangelical or born-again Christians (61 percent to 35 percent). Liberals and moderates were more likely to choose the second statement over the first (61 percent to 37 percent for liberals and 56 percent to 42 percent for moderates). This could clearly have an effect on public policy because the general views are split so close to the middle. This shows that liberals are more likely to support comprehensive sex education because you cannot just trust that kids will be abstinent and they would rather prepare for their involvement in sexual activity. A President who is Democratic would likely adopt a policy agenda that follows what the liberals think rather than the conservatives because they are the voting base. According to the NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School Poll, in spite of the fact that only 15 percent of Americans say they want abstinence-only sex education in the schools, 30 percent of the principals of public middle schools and high schools where sex education is taught report that their schools teach abstinence-only. In H.R. 1364, which went to the committees House Energy and commerce and House Energy and Commerce-Health, sex education was the main topic. It was introduced on 03/04/09, but that is as far as it got. It amends title V (Maternal and Child Health Services) of the Social Security Act to expand provisions for abstinence education to allow states to provide other sex education. It also defines the term "sex education" to mean education about the functional, structural, or behavioral aspects of human reproduction and education about abstinence or contraception. Finally, it directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a pilot program to make grants to public and nonprofit entities to provide: (1) substance abuse treatment services in the form of long-term counseling; (2) substance abuse prevention services to individuals who are less than 21 years of age; and (3) services that facilitate interaction between individuals receiving treatment for substance abuse and individuals receiving prevention services in a manner that enhances both such services. In S.2365, which went to Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, sex education was the topic. The Parents' Rights Empowerment and Protection Act (PREP Act) - Requires each preschool and elementary and secondary school that receives federal funds to obtain the affirmative, informed, written consent of a child's parent before requesting information from, or conveying information to, such child on topics relating to sex or sexuality. It requires parents, upon their request, to be given an opportunity to review such information as well as a description of the context of, and need for, its request or conveyance. It subjects individuals and schools to civil liability and fines for violating these consent and disclosure requirements. Also, it makes noncompliant schools ineligible for federal funds for one year following a violation. Finally, it amends the General Education Provisions Act to direct administrators of surveys, analyses, or evaluations that require students to reveal certain personal or familial information to obtain the prior consent of adult or emancipated students and prior written consent of minor students' parents. S. 578 went to the Senate Finance Committee and were introduced on 03/14/11, but it didn’t get any further. It amends title V (Maternal and Child Health Services) of the Social Security Act to: (1) eliminate the abstinence-only education program, (2) rescind unobligated FY2010 and 2011 program appropriations, and (3) reprogram such rescinded appropriations for the personal responsibility education program (PREP) for FY2012-FY2014. S. 2185 was introduced on 03/11/12 but it didn’t go further. It was assigned to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. It authorizes the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to award grants for qualified sexual risk avoidance education to youth and their parents. Requires eligible education to meet certain criteria, including: (1) being age-appropriate, medically accurate, and evidence-based; (2) having as its sole purpose the teaching of the skills and benefits of sexual abstinence as the optimal sexual health behavior for youth; and (3) teaching the benefits of refraining from non-marital sexual activity, the advantage of reserving sexual activity for marriage as a key factor in the prevention of poverty and the preservation of physical and emotional health, and the foundational components of a healthy relationship and the advantages of bearing children within the context of a committed marital relationship for healthy marriages. It gives priority to programs that serve youth ages 12 to 19 and that will promote the protective benefits of parent-child communication regarding healthy sexual decision-making. SB 3310 was brought to the floor on 4/5/2012 and went to the Education Committee. This bill requires that a family life education curriculum, among other things and to the extent that the topic and the manner of communication are age-appropriate:
(1) Exclusively and emphatically promote sexual risk avoidance through abstinence, regardless of a student's current or prior sexual experience; 
(2) Encourage sexual health by helping students understand how sexual activity affects the whole person including the physical, social, emotional, psychological, economic and educational consequences of non-marital sexual activity; 
(3) Provide factually and medically-accurate information;
(4) Encourage students to communicate with a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult about sex or other risk behaviors;
(5) Address the benefits of raising children within the context of a marital relationship and the unique challenges that single teen parents encounter in relation to educational, psychological, physical, social, legal, and financial factors; 
(6) Discuss the interrelationship between teen sexual activity and exposure to other risk behaviors such as smoking, underage drinking, drug use, criminal activity, dating violence, and sexual aggression; and
(7) Educate students on the age of consent, puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, sexually transmitted diseases, and the financial and emotional responsibility of raising a child.

It also says that instruction of the family life education curriculum may not: 

(1) Promote any gateway sexual activity or health message that encourages students to experiment with non-coital sexual activity; 
(2) Provide or distribute materials on school grounds that condone, encourage or promote student sexual activity among unmarried students;
(3) Display or conduct demonstrations with devices manufactured specifically for sexual stimulation; or
(4) Distribute contraception on school property; provided, however, medically-accurate information about contraception and condoms may be provided so long as it is presented in a manner consistent with the provisions described above and clearly informs students that while such methods may reduce the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases or becoming pregnant, only abstinence removes all risk. Committee meeting notes were not available, but all 9 committee members passed the bill. It passed with 31 yea and 1 no. Bill Clinton supports sexual education, but he put a focus on parental consent. In 1996 he signed the welfare reform bill containing a provision stating that $50 million would be specially earmarked each year for sex education programs that followed abstinence only curriculum guidelines. Hillary has full support for comprehensive sexual education. Now Clinton has a greater support for comprehensive sex education. I think that at the time it was more favorable to highlight parent involvement. There was less scientific evidence showing the benefits of sexual education and it was likely more controversial. From a democratic-party standpoint, he drifted from what his party normally stood for. He was already a liberal candidate so he was risking the loss of his most liberal voters. I think it was not a good choice because it could’ve distanced some of his voters. George W. Bush said, “Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS. Therefore, we support doubling abstinence education funding. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for contraception and abortion.” He was consistent with the Republican Party Platform in that he emphasized abstinence education and did not support contraception or abortion education. I think that this was the natural choice for his candidacy. I don’t think he really risked many votes because most of his voting base would’ve supported this view anyway. Barack Obama supports comprehensive sex education and has cut funding from abstinence programs and put the money into comprehensive sex education and teen pregnancy programs. His viewpoint is consistent with his view on abortion and other health and education topics. He is also consistent with the party platform. I think he chose this because it is supported by most of his voters. He did try to make more of a compromise though by creating a budget plan that was open to all methods and left some decisions to local governments and schools. With that said, he has tried to get rid of funding for misleading, incorrect, or biased abstinence curricula. I think he took a slightly more compromising view because he hasn’t really had a majority and has to be bipartisan with a lot of his decisions. I think he didn’t alienate voters because he supports comprehensive sex education, but the slightly more compromising view was helpful to him in terms of people who would not normally vote democratic or support comprehensive sex education. In the case, ACLU of North California vs. Clovis Unified district, Central Valley teenager Taylor Ghimenti learned in her 9th grade sex education class that HIV-AIDS could be spread by kissing — a medically inaccurate statement. Taylor was taught only about abstinence as protection against sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies and given no information about condoms or contraception. Mica Ghimenti, her mother, wanted to change the Clovis Unified School District's high school sex education curriculum. The lawsuit alleges that the district is violating state law by teaching only about abstinence. The lawsuit against Clovis Unified, which serves 39,000 students in Fresno County, alleges that the abstinence-only curriculum is risking young people's health by denying them accurate information about how to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies. The final ruling has not come out yet. In the case, Maria Sulewski v. Erie County Health Department, Maria sued because her job was reassigned for refusing to teach 5th and 6th grade students about contraceptives. She is a Roman Catholic Nurse and would not do it because it violates her religion. The county's health board approved a $12,500 settlement. Sulewski received $5,000, with $7,500 going for her legal expenses, and was given her school nurse job back. In return, Sulewski dismissed her lawsuit and promised not to pursue any other claims against the health department, who maintain there was no wrongdoing and that the payment was not an admission of liability, but "solely paid to preclude additional litigation expenses." ACLU vs. HHS challenged federal funding of religious activities in a nationwide abstinence-only-until-marriage program, the Silver Ring Thing. Silver Ring Thing is a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit that promotes abstinence until marriage through its Web site, brochures, videos and seminars. Teenage graduates of the program, after signing a covenant "before God Almighty" to remain virgins, receive a silver ring inscribed with a Bible passage that the group renders as "God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of sexual sin." The ACLU accused the Bush administration of spending federal tax dollars on an abstinence education program that promotes Christianity. Filed in federal court in Boston, the lawsuit alleges that the programs and educational materials distributed by Silver Ring Thing are "permeated with religion" and use "taxpayer dollars to promote religious content, instruction and indoctrination." In the settlement, HHS agreed that it will not fund the Silver Ring Thing’s abstinence-only-until-marriage education program as it is currently structured, and that any future funding is contingent on the Silver Ring Thing’s compliance with federal law prohibiting the use of federal funds to support religious activities. The Education department could be responsible for potential oversight in this department. State and local education departments in addition to the national education department could be responsible. There would need to be substantial budgetary support for comprehensive sex education. Obama is implementing this in the budget currently. Statistics show that most parents support comprehensive sex education, but there would have to be local hearings and parental committees to decide what comprehensive and scientifically accurate curricula is appropriate for their community. No one can be exempted from this policy. There is up to date research available that shows how successful comprehensive sex education is. Among teens aged 18-19, 41% report that they know little or nothing about condoms and 75% say they know little or nothing about the contraceptive pill (National Survey of Family Growth). In addition, many sexually experienced teens (46% of males and 33% of females) do not receive formal instruction about contraception before they first have sex (Center for Disease Control). With this in mind, if 86% of the decline in teen pregnancy rate between 1995 and 2002 was the result of dramatic improvements in contraceptive use, then clearly the teens need to be educated about these contraceptives so that they will protect themselves (American Journal of Public Health). Just because there has been a decline does not mean that the problem is solved, but the efforts to drop the rate by increased knowledge of contraceptives will add to the 86% decline for these same reasons. More than half (55%) of 7th-12th graders say they have looked up health information online in order to learn more about an issue affecting themselves or someone they know (Kaiser Family Foundation). The websites teens turn to for sexual health information are often inaccurate. For example, of 177 sexual health websites examined in a recent study, 46% of those addressing contraception and 35% of those addressing abortion contained inaccurate information (Journal for Adolescent Health). Teenagers are searching for the information; there is no way to avoid them finding something and high exposure to sexual content on television means that they are receiving this information regardless. The media glorifies sex and it can’t be hidden from teenagers by avoiding the topic or not teaching it. If comprehensive sex education is taught, at least students are receiving accurate and beneficial information. Further, comprehensive sex education is necessary, but it is also necessary that it is correct and effectively taught. Thirteen states require that the information presented in sex education classes be medically accurate and factual. However, a recent review of 13 commonly used abstinence-only curricula found that 11 had incorrect, misleading or distorted information (Guttmacher Institute). It is necessary that information be presented accurately and in an unbiased way. Abstinence can still be stressed in the curriculum, but the students do need to be aware of alternative forms of control. It is extremely difficult to stop a teenager from doing what they choose to do, especially by avoiding the topic. Conversation, information, and knowing how to be mentally and physically healthy are the best way to support this generation of teenagers. I want to implement a comprehensive sexual education course that promotes abstinence, but also educates about condoms and other forms of birth control. The populace must contact their policy makers and the media will likely play a large role. The Education Department will be in charge.

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...6 8. Recommendations………………………………………………………...……………...7 9. References……………………………………………………………………………..…8 ABSTRACT ‘’Sun, Sea and…Sex ‘’ the definition of paradise on Earth in Mauritius for tourists, but Sex can also lead to Hell. This piece of work is not about taboo matter but most on life issue. One day I heard a story about a girl of 14 years old who got pregnant by another pre-teenager in Madagascar. For us, Malagasy people, it is a shame for the girl and his family. Then, I knew that it was the same case for many communities around the World, a little girl unmarried who got pregnant is a taboo. The question in my mind was how could she have sex at her age and in addition sexual intercourse without protection? Normally parents give always advices or cautions on sex or just have talked about it to their children. In fact the girl was not aware on sex issue. The majority of girls getting pregnant or boys having sex diseases do not know what happened to them because they did not have informations. So the main question was, why are they not aware about sex and its issues ? This is why I have chosen this topic. After many researches I have found that it was caused by a lack of informations from the parents and talking about sex to children for many communities is very taboo. In this essay it is said that pre-teenagers are also victims of Aids after sexual acts and the number of Aids sufferers is increasing in......

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Sex Education

...Introduction What is sex education? Sex education ('sex ed'), which is sometimes called sexuality education or sex and relationships education, is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. Sex education is also about developing young people's skills so that they make informed choices about their behaviour, and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices. It is widely accepted that young people have a right to sex education. This is because it is a means by which they are helped to protect themselves against abuse, exploitation, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV and AIDS. It is also argued that providing sex education helps to meet young people’s rights to information about matters that affect them, their right to have their needs met and to help them enjoy their sexuality and the relationships that they form. Body What are the aims of sex education? Sex education aims to reduce the risks of potentially negative outcomes from sexual behaviour, such as unwanted or unplanned pregnancies and infection with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. It also aims to contribute to young people’s positive experience of their sexuality by enhancing the quality of their relationships and their ability to make informed decisions over their lifetime. Sex education that works, by which we mean that it is effective, is sex education......

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...Sex education is a broad term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, and other aspects of human sexual behavior. Although some form of sex education is part of the curriculum in some schools around the country, it remains a controversial issue in many areas. More than half of parents do not think sex education should be taught to children at school, according to a new survey. Many think it is inappropriate to teach children about sex, while others think it should be a parents' choice to inform their own child, according to a poll by baby product website babychild.org.uk. The survey, which questioned more than 1,700 parents of children aged five to fifteen, found that fifty nine per cent do not agree with the fact that sex education is often taught to children in schools. Given the state of clothing, television, music, video games and other social media, a wise parent would be on constant alert for opportunities to assess their child for signs that wisdom about anything sexual is in need of being dispensed and then they would dispense it. But many aren’t, and many don’t. It is adults who are uncomfortable with sex, and this discomfort is a big part of the reason why children need sex education in schools. Adults are failing in their job to inform their kids in a timely manner. Kids are sexual beings from the moment they are conceived. Pretending that they don’t need to know anything about even the most basic sexual......

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...Abstinence- Only Vs. Comprehensive Sex Education Nickenha Ashley SOC 233 Professor Singer October 31, 2013 The debate about “abstinence” vs. “comprehensive” sex education has been occurring for at least three decades. The common ground that drives these competing approaches is concern about the negative consequences of adolescent sexual activity to the health and well-being of individuals and society. The debate about these programs were re-energized recently based on the research of about four different abstinence program, where teens in that study reported that they did not abstain from sexual activity more than non-participants. Based on these results it has come to the conclusion that the abstinence approach to preventing teen sexual risk behaviors does not work. My position on this topic is that I feel that all schools should implement the comprehensive sex education class rather than the abstinence only. The abstinence only approach to sex education does not protect young people from HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and unplanned pregnancy. This approach will likely have serious unintended consequences by denying young people access to the information they need to protect themselves. Sex education will prepare them only for when they want to make that decision but will clarify that having no sex is the only way to truly prevent any accidents. The idea that sexual activity is the ticket to popularity is burned into teens brains by media, through......

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...Speaking to or teaching teenagers about sex is a continuing controversy. Statistics from the Guttmacher Institute show that nearly half of U.S. teenagers between the ages of 15-19 have had sex. There has always been a debate on the curriculum of sex education. Some people believe that abstinence only education is the only kind of education that should be taught in U.S. public schools, while others believe in the need to teach comprehensive sex education. Statistics show that teenagers do have sex, are contracting STDs, and are getting pregnant. Although many U.S. states disagree with teaching abstinence only sex education, the government has funded over a billion dollars to schools over the past ten years that have taught an abstinence only curriculum. The Grand Rapids Press affirmed, in 2008 the Bush administration gave $ 200 million to schools in the U.S. for abstinence only curriculums. In the United States, we are divided on our opinion of sex education. Sharyl Attkisson from CBS News reported in 14 states both abstinence and contraception are taught, in 19 states only teaching abstinence is required and in 17 states the state does not specify on which sex education curriculum to teach. “The National Abstinence Education Association argues that comprehensive sex education in schools doesn’t reduce the number of teens having sex”, reported in the Grand Rapids Press. But contrary to the National Abstinence Education Association a study by The Mathematica Policy Research......

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...Kathryn Nelson Wright Human Development 13 March 2014 Sex education and adolescents is something that is more common now than back 50 or 60 years ago. More parents and schools are educating adolescents in sex education. When it comes time for parents to their sons and daughters the mother-daughter relationship is the most significant. As for the sex education in the public school system, there is actually a debate between public schools whether to teach sex education in the public school system and what to teach. In some states they have decided to teach sex education and some have decided not to Sex education has many significances in an adolescent’s youth and where they learn it and who educates them about it can result in good and bad outcomes. “Some evidence suggests that compared with Caucasian American Families, African American families may better prepare girls for menarche” (Berk). Mothers are known to be the parent to form that relationship with their adolescent daughter about puberty and sex. When mothers talk to their daughters the two things that the mothers mainly mention are marital sex and menstruation. Unfortunately, not all females have that family support when it comes to talking about puberty and sex. According to the book Family Relations, females who had no sex education were just as likely to engage in premarital sex as females with some background of education. When it comes to parents educating boys, wet dreams and masturbation were the two...

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...The topic of sex is, "one of the least examined issues of current American politics," (Paglia, 1995). Walking down the street, the topic of sex is not something that comes up very often yet it is a thing that occurs often. Why is this the case? Despite declines in rates of teen pregnancy in the U.S., about 820,000 teens become pregnant each year" (Family First). The U.S. spends about $7 million on teenage pregnancy every year. It is clear that proper education of sex is lacking both in homes and in schools, but whose job is it to teach children about sex? In this paper, these question will be explored by taking a look at the history of sex education in schools, sex education in the family, and how these two are linked in effecting the knowledge of children about the topic of sex. The history of sex education began in the 1980s when the debate of having sex education in schools really began to take off. Two of the major forces that drove this movement were the growing rates of STDs and prostitution. Therefore, "by 1989, 23 states had passed mandates for sexuality education, an additional 23 states strongly encouraged sex education, 33 mandated AIDS education and 17 additional states recommended it," (FOSE). Opponents had previously taken the stance that the topic sex should not be discussed in schools, but now they fought for the idea that the only message that should be taught in schools was the idea that sexual behavior outside of marriage was unacceptable. Today, this......

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...Sexual health education in the schools: Questions & Answers 3rd Edition Sexual health education in the schools: Questions & Answers (3rd edition) A resource with answers to your questions about sexual health education in our schools This resource document was prepared by Alexander McKay, Ph.D, Research Coordinator, and Mary Bissell, Ph.D., Information Services Coordinator, Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN) contEntS IntroductIon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 QuEStIonS: 1. Sexual health and Canadian youth: How are we doing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2. Why do we need sexual health education in the schools?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3. Do parents want sexual health education taught in the schools? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 4. Do young people want sexual health education taught in the schools? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 5. What values are taught in school-based sexual health education?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 6. Does providing youth with sexual health education lead to earlier or more frequent sexual activity? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 7. Is......

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...SEX EDUCATION? Imagine this scene. A young girl of fourteen approaches her mother and asks, “mom, how was I made?”. The mother goes blank. She is confused as to what she wants to know first. Would it be how to explain the miraculous process of reproduction and conception? Or would she prefer to know how her child got the nerve to ask such a question? It can not be denied that in today’s time, sex has become a household term. If before it was considered taboo, nowadays, it may be spoken as easily as saying one’s name. In effect, it may now be discussed everywhere by everyone including children. The term is actually not a bad one. In fact, it is a gift from God to any married couple. It is the process by which two people, blessed by God, become instruments of His creation. What makes it a “dirty” thing now is what many young people do to it. Sex has been abused and done by people even at a very young age of 14. This scenario has led to teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, single parenthood, premature marriages, broken families, and eventually, poverty. The only solution the goverment sees that can be deemed possible to curb these incidents is by sex education---teaching sex in basic education. Are we Filipinos ready for this? I do not think so. But have got another option? No, we don’t. We have got no choice. This leads us back to teaching sex in school. But how can this be done? There have to be rules or guidelines that must be implemented in order......

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...Should the early sex education be taught in schools or not? Discuss In recent years, the number of pregnancies and the sexual transmitted infections which are experienced by the teens has unpredictably increased. The sex education can be identified as the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationships and intimacy, and the teens refers to those whose age is between 12 and 20. In whether or not the early sex education should be taught in schools a number of arguments, both for and against, need to be examined. These arguments include that sex education decreases the teenage pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases. Comprehensive sex education promotes healthy behavior. Sex education materials contain offensive content and induce youth to attempt initiated sex. Firstly, the sex education reduces the incidence of underage pregnancy and the spread of transmitted diseases. With regard to the outcomes of the sexual behaviors, it is clearly discovered that the teenage pregnancy and the sexual transmitted diseases are the most serious effects of teen sex. According to Klein, each year, in United State, teens experience as many as 850,000 pregnancies, and youth under age 25 experience about 9.1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Meanwhile, Klein states that by age 18, 70 percent of American females and 62 percent of American males have initiated sex. Thus, comprehensive sex education advocates believe that...

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Sex Education

...Haley, Brian 924246012 ENGL 1101   Should Sex education be increased in schools in an attempt to curb problems? Sex education should be increased into schools nation wide. This will help stop most of the problems that occur from being uneducated about sexual activities. To complete this goal we need to look at what is going on now in the nation. To many people are getting pregnant, getting infected with curable and incurable STDs. This is because people are not educated about sexual activities. Knowledge will be the power for educating people about Sex. In order to do this we need to find out what is happening now from the current education at hand. Pregnancy is at an all time high with students and young adults. Last the STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) rate is also rising among students and young adults. As of right now most of the schools in the nation have only a basic sex education class. It only presents the most basic of knowledge for our younger generations that are learning about sex education. Most of the material is just what is sex, how babies made or come where babies come from, and sexually transmitted diseases. Students need to be educated more about risk as well as how they can protect their selves from those associated risk. At the end of the day kids are going to have sex no matter what we tell them. Most of all of us have had sex at a young age and being better educated about it will help students make correct choices from events that can even...

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