Teaching Sex Education Rather Than Abstinence Education Essay

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Teens should be taught sex education rather than abstinence-only education, because even if they are not engaging in the activities they still need to know how to be protected. Even if teens say they are not engaging in sexual activities, it does not mean they are telling the truth. Students should have opportunities to study sexuality, choosing aspects of sexuality or topics that they find relevant to their lives or intriguing (Bailey 53 ).

According to the AIDS Policy Research Center & Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (2002), many people tend to believe that sex education causes teens to engage in sexual activities at an early age but that isn t the case. Sex education actually teaches teens what they need to be informed about the topic.. Sex education does not encourage to teens to have sex, it just informs them about what they need to know it they should choose to. Studies have repeatedly shown that comprehensive sex education does not lead to earlier onset of sexual activity (Abstinence and Sex Education).

Teaching sex education to teens is very beneficial. It provides teens with information about birth control options and disease transmission (Murphy). It also teaches teens the effects of contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD s) such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Unlike abstinence, sex education encourages teens to practice abstinence, as well as the importance of protection. Some reasons people should support teens being taught sex education include: Just Teaching No Doesn't Help Those Who Will Say Yes, Just Because You Have a Raincoat Doesn t Mean It s Going to Rain, Comprehensive Sex Ed Doesn't Encourage Kids to Have Sex (Boskey).

If teens were not taught sex education the effects would be dire. Teens would be uninformed about STD s, HIV, contraceptives, pregnancy, and birth control options. To help youths avoid problems associated with sex, comprehensive sexuality education teaches students how to have sex responsibly (Bailey 49). If students are not informed about sex in an educational setting, they will only know what they have heard form their peers and maybe parents. Teens could also be educated about sex through media, which does not express the facts about it. The media only creates programs they believe will get viewers attention, not educate them. Those who create the media information are typically more concerned with attracting audiences than promoting healthy sexuality (Bailey 90).

Abstinence-only education includes discussion of values, character building, and, in some cases refusal skills (Collins). Yes, abstinence is in fact the only effective way to avoid the consequences of sex, but it is not the most effective thing to teach teens to prevent them from suffering the consequences of sex. Abstinence teaches students to refrain from all types of sexual activities until marriage. It focuses on teaching teens that they should abstain from sex until they are married (Abstinence and Sex Education). Abstinence does not teach teens about contraceptives or abortions. It only teaches them that if they choose to have sex then they will have to suffer the consequences. One of the biggest problems with abstinence-only education is that it denies teenagers the chance to learn about acceptable options other than abstinence (Boskey).

Teaching abstinence can have a positive outcome, but in order to be effective teens have to actually understand and practice it. If teens are only taught abstinence they will only be knowledgeable about abstaining from sex because of its consequences. It is important to understand the full spectrum. The abstinence-only approach to sex education is not supported by the extensive body of scientific research on what works to protect young people from HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned pregnancy (Collins)

Sex education teaches teens about STD s such as gonorrhea, syphilis, crabs, Chlamydia, Genital Warts, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), herpes, HIV; contraceptives, the different sexual reproductive organs, and unintended pregnancy. Some teens that are taught sex education are less likely to start having sex at an early age because they are informed about it effect and consequences. Some sex and HIV education programs delay the onset of sex, reduce the frequency of sex, or reduce the number of sexual partners (Collins).

Many parents want their children to learn some basic information about sex and protection (Collins). If sex education is taught to teens, parents will have a less difficult time trying to explain it to them. If their children already have some understanding about sex then it allows the parent to just focus on teaching them their personal and religious beliefs (Boskey). Even though teens may be taught everything they need to know in sex education that does not mean that parents should not have the opportunity to voice their opinions. Nothing about comprehensive sex education prevents parents from teaching their kids their standards for moral behavior (Boskey).

Some parents believe that teens should not be taught sex education, because it may cause teens to engage in sexual activities at an early age, but studies show otherwise. These supporters believe that teaching only about abstinence will delay the onset of sexual activity (Blackburn) but, according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sex education programs do work to help discourage many teens from becoming sexually active before age 15.

In school teens are taught supposed to be taught almost everything they need to be prepared for their future. If school taught sex education classes the same way they teach math, science , and reading teens would be very educated on the topic. According to today's teens, in an article entitled Teens Say Sex Can Wait, they might be able to make better decisions when it comes to having sex if: every parent began a conversation about sex with kids when they were young, and maintained an open-door policy as kids got older and if schools had sex education programs as thorough and engaging as those for other subjects. They also might be better able to avoid unplanned pregnancy, (Newberger).

Teens believe that sex education classes are very effective and should continue to be taught. Sex education classes allow teens to discuss the issues of sex with their peers in a very conformable environment. Teens want to talk with other teens about what it's like to feel pressured to have sex, how to have the courage to abstain and how to avoid STDs and pregnancy (Teen Say Sex Can Wait). Teens tend to make better decisions about sexual activities when they have taken sex education classes. After taking sex education classes, teens know the causes and effects of having sex. When teens are presented with sexually situations they are likely to delay first intercourse or use contraceptives, if they are already sexually active.

Teens should be taught sex education rather than abstinence-only education, because even if they are not engaging in the activities they still need to know how to be protected. The study of various research on the topic has proven that teaching teens Sex education rather than abstinence-only education, allows them to be fully informed about sex and provides them with all the information they need to make a wise decision about their sexual health.

According to a survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, nearly two-thirds of teens who have had sex wish they had waited and Fifty-four percent of teens surveyed said that those who are sexually active should have access to birth control. If these teens were taught sex education they would have known how to go about getting birth control and abstinence. Teens want to be informed about sex and should be able to. Sex education will provide teens with the information they desire to know. One teen surveyed, Lynsey Ross, 18, commented "We want to have the information available so that we can make informed decisions."

When teens are educated fully on sex and abstinence the outcome can be tremendous. When the two are combined most likely the main point would be to abstain from sex, but teens will also be given information about disease prevention and contraception (Abstinence and Sex Education). Teaching teen s sex education is the best way to insure that they make positive decisions about their sexual health. Yes, teens should abstain from sex, but they should still be able to be informed and the topic and effects and consequence that come along with it. Sex education and abstinence work hand-in-hand to provide teens with an inclusive approach to the idea of sexual intercourse.