A disturbing survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) uncovered an alarming trend in teenage girls. According to the survey, 1 in 4 teenage girls have been contracted at least one STD. An increase in sexual intercourse among teenagers is the presumed cause, and it raises a question in my mind. Is sex education taught well enough in the public school system?
Face it, sex is a topic most parents don’t want their teenagers to get involved in. Whether its learning about the subject or actively participating, many parents feel sex is a taboo topic that schools should not teach. Many want high schools to take an abstinence-only approach sex education, feeling that it should be the parents responsibility to teach their children about intercourse.
While I agree in part with this, I must disagree that sex education is solely a parents duty. Yes, parents should give the “birds and the bees” lecture. Unfortunately, I know many of my peers never received the speech, and my school doesn’t teach sex education, not even the abstinence aspect. As a result, many of my fellow classmates are pregnant, already parents, and face STDs at the young age of 16 and 17. The health problems, particularly cervical cancer, now affect many girls who could not express their bodily desires safely. They fell victim to the consequences of sex.
Its very sad to watch. I have seen friends endure shot-gun style weddings because the girl’s father didn’t want to have an unmarried daughter bearing a child. Besides, both young parents felt they had a mutual responsibility to care for the unborn child. A few dropped out of school to get jobs. Some of my male peers even moved away after impregnating a girl, hoping to escape consequence.
Could teaching sex education beyond the abstinence-only approach help reverse trends such as those seen at my school? I think so. As a high school student, I think that a teacher explaining the consequences of unsafe sex to young students is worth the discomfort. Since not all parents take the responsibility, this is one subject where high schools need to pick up the preventative slack. Comprehensive sex education, education beyond the abstinence-only approach, would help curious teens make an informed decision. Since some can’t help but explore with the opposite sex, knowing how to do so safely would be of great benefit.
Some parents argue that teaching all aspects of sex will only stimulate their teenagers feelings. Therefore, avoid going into great detail. I disagree. While sex education may stimulate feelings, it would also teach about the consequences. Proper education would also stress safe intercourse if a teenager chooses to do so.
If teenagers were only taught why abstinence works, some would wait until marriage for sexual intercourse. Most wouldn’t. That is why comprehensive sex education needs to be mandated. Teaching students about STDs, safe sex practices, and other aspects of this hush-hush topic would better so many teenage lives. Perhaps CDC surveys would not return with such a sad result.
Center for Disease Control