Importance of Sex Education in American Schools

Sex education refers to education concerning the sexual behavior of human beings, their emotional relationships, and responsibilities. Sex education can be conducted in several locations including, homes, schools, and other learning institutions, public health campaigns, and any other public area where the attention of the majority can be attracted.

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Many people including some parents may feel negative and opposed to the idea of introducing sex education in American schools, it is however very important to include sex education in American schools program for the good of the lives of young people today and in the future.

The topic of sex education has in the past many years raised a lot of concern. This topic has been discussed in many aspects and has gone as far as reaching the level of the Supreme Court. The age groups in most American schools are adolescents. The adolescents’ sexual behavior seems to be so alarming and the United States has had to face so many challenges in trying to deal with the results of these sexual behaviors. Adolescent sexual behavior has gone beyond hand to confront the parents, health experts, educators not leaving behind the policymakers. It is therefore very important for this topic to be included in the American school program.

Sex education is important in American schools since it mainly emphasizes the ways through which sexual behaviors of young people that lead to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases infection can be minimized. This is done through teaching the adolescents on the risk of their poor sexual behavior, the importance of abstinence in relation to psychological, health, and social, or the use of protective measures. The youth are educated on how they can avoid sexual intercourse before marriage, for example, they should avoid social pressures e.g. from friends that can sway them to engage in sexual activity. They are also taught how to negotiate about sex and how they can deny it when they are to do it under pressure.

Studies have indicated that in America most youth involve themselves in sexual activities before completing their high school education. It has been noted that they engage in sexual activities among themselves and sometimes with elderly people who are not of their age. The majority of them are found to have engaged in sexual intercourse with more than one partner in their lives. This exposes them to high risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies in female students. These they do because of the ignorance of the consequences of premarital sex and thus awareness should be created among them through sex education within their schools.

Sex education is important in American schools since most youths do not seem to understand what sex really is. For example, it has been realized that most American youths engage in oral and anal sex, which to most of them is not really sex. Anal intercourse is mainly practiced by the American female youth as a mechanism of preventing early and unwanted pregnancies and to keep their virginity (Remez, 2000, p.300).

These sexual behaviors of the young people put their health at very great risk and if something is not done to help them early enough then the United States will be losing a number of youth at a very high rate. In addition to their health, the youth also risk their education as a number of them are dropping out of school because of either poor health or unwanted pregnancies (Henshaw 2001). This imposes a very adverse effect on the growth of the American economy.

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Majority of the American females aged between the age of fifteen years and nineteen years get pregnant every year. Because of their ignorance and the fact that such pregnancies are uncalled for they attempt abortion, which in most cases leads to loss of lives or infertility. Other than pregnancy, the majority of young people are at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases which usually presents the largest rate of infection in all age groups in America and in all other parts of the world.

Out of all these consequences of the sexual behavior of the youth, HIV and AIDS infection causes the greatest danger to the lives of the American youth. A number of youths aged between thirteen and twenty-five years get HIV infection every year. Because HIV/aids have no cure, many lives of young people are lost each year. With all the negative results exhibited by adolescent sexual behaviors comes enough evidence that sex education is an important program in American schools.

In the past, most schools in America avoided the debate on the issue of sex education but currently, they have realized the benefit of sex education in their institutions, which was because of positive outcomes accredited by the school-based sex education. A number of learning institutions including elementary schools, middle and junior high schools, and high schools, therefore, need sex education within their institutions.

Sex education is very important as it makes a difference in the lives of the youth. Through sex education the youth will learn to be responsible teenagers, they will learn to stay away from premarital sexual activities or have safe sex practices thus keeping them safe from teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease infection, and HIV/AIDS infection. This in turn leads to a prolonged life for the young people and a reduction in school dropout rates (“Office of National AIDS Policy”, 2000).

Sex education in American schools is important given that schools are mostly occupied by the youth who happens to be the most sexually active group in the population. The whole community and parents should therefore recognize that their children would be sexually active before completing their high school education and must therefore take action and offer them the required program on sex education that will help them to escape the negative consequences of their sexual behavior. If the community will not do this, then this will mean that the young generation is futureless.

American school students in most cases those in pure boy schools engage themselves in homosexuality. Even though a large percentage of the population feels that students should only be taught what homosexuality is and not whether it is good or bad, it is very important to teach the youth about the effects of homosexuality. This can only be done by learning about teenage sex (“Kaiser Family Foundation”, 2000).

In addition, sex education is important in American schools, as the youth seem to start involving themselves in sexual activities at a very young age when they are not psychologically and emotionally prepared which affects their psyche leading to mental depression, confusion, and suicide thus affecting their education and their future lives.

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Many Americans have divided themselves on the issue of what kind of sex education should be offered to their children in schools. Born again Christians have also raised concerns on the kind of sex education that should be offered in schools. A large population thinks that in schools students should only be taught on abstinence and not on the use of contraceptives as they claim that this will encourage their children to engage in early sex.

All-inclusive sex education is however very important in American schools as it tackles both abstinence, gives clinically precise information about the use of the contraceptives and the appropriate age for the use of such contraceptives. This kind of sex education is also important as it teaches the students on decision making, relationships, boldness, and developing skills on how to defy pressure from different sources that could manipulate them to engage in sexual activity. This is done effectively depending on the grade level of the student.

Most families today have found it very difficult to manage their children and especially children at the stage of adolescence thus passing this responsibility to the teachers who are responsible for the education of the students. Initially, parents educated their children on the moral issues of life and how they could take care of themselves. With compulsory public education, the influence that the parents had on their children has changed and they no longer have enough time to spend with their children and teach them how to develop morally. It is therefore important for sex education to be included in American schools as students are more readily availed to the teachers as compared to the parents (“Kaiser Family Foundation”, 2000).

In schools, there is usually a lot of contact between the opposite sexes as compared to any other place. This really exposes students to sexual activity since they are very active sexually and the availability of a sexual partner inspires them to have sex. This acts as evidence that sex education is important in American schools.

The issue of moral relativism brought about by the American educational policies has made the students believe that there is no right and wrong thus do not seem to consider what is moral and what is not. This has led American students especially girls both in religious, public, and private schools to participate in sex club activities. This calls for comprehensive sex education in American schools so that the students may learn to differentiate bad from the good and stop participating in such immoral activities as it imposes a lot of threat on their lives and education.

In American schools, students meet with their fellow students and realize that the pace at which they are growing is different depending on the individual. This has brought a lot of misunderstanding among them making them question their normality. Most of them seem to wonder whether their speed of growth is the right one. Sex education needs to be provided on this issue to enable the students to understand that there is early and late development depending on one’s hormones and that the issue of whether one is normal or not should not come in (Newcomer & Udry, 45).

At the age of adolescence, the youths start experiencing several changes in their bodies and develop sexual desire. As a result, they are always tempted to experiment with their bodies. Sex education should be introduced at early levels of children’s education like early middle school to enable them to know more about their body parts, reproductive processes, and the expected changes at every stage of their lives. This will help prepare them psychologically for anything to come and will help them know the consequences that they will face if they have sexual intercourse.

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In most cases, it is believed that in school settings it is the male students who propose sex to the female students. Given that both parties are ignorant about the sexual act the male students sometimes attempt to put pressure on the female students in case they are not willing to comply with their proposal. It is therefore important to educate the female students to be familiar with the pressure that the male students might put on them to engage in sex and also to educate the male students on how they can control their sexual desires (Schuster, Bell, & Kanouse, 1573).

Sex education is important as through it students can be taught the use of drugs. This should be done as studies have shown that drug abuse among students is one of the major factors that have led to increased sexual activities among students. It is one of the biggest problems that students face and if it can be solved then there could be a reduction in the rate at which students involve themselves in sexual activities.

Sex education is important in American schools as it can help prevent students from experiencing physical and psychological torture. As it is put by the born-again Christians, premarital sex is morally wrong and can cause both psychological and physical suffering among the students.

Most students engage in premarital sex because they do not know the purpose of sex. This makes them get cornered easily by a bad company that wants to make money by providing them with protective materials without any proper guidance on their use or the parents’ knowledge. American schools should therefore provide sex education to their students to prevent the occurrence of such activities and to preserve the moral principles of American society.

With several diseases facing the world today, together with the sexually transmitted diseases and a reduction in the distribution of condoms and other protective measures sex education is the only way through which the lives of young people can be stopped from being at a risk.

It is a fact that young people are actually very vulnerable to premarital sexual activities. This view definitely forms the adults’ views about sex education. It has clearly been observed that many adults support sex education in American schools as they always feel that the youth should think for themselves and make their own decisions. However, some adults feel that the youth should be obedient and thus do not support sex education.

In my view, sex education is very important in American schools and should be included in the American school curriculum. This should not only be based on the issues of religion, sexuality, or morality but should be done with the aim of preventing the American youth from contracting sexually transmitted diseases and getting early pregnancies. This will not only be for the youth’s present life but will be for the good of their education and their future lives.

Though most Americans support only sex education on abstinence, in my opinion, sex education should be comprehensive covering both abstinence and how young people can use protective measures to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. This is because some young people find it very difficult to abstain and so it is important that they know how to protect themselves in case they must have sex.

Although there may be some disagreement on whether sex education should be included in American school education programs and the type of sex education to be offered to the students, sex education remains very important in American schools as it will help young people become more responsible for their own lives and display some desirable behavior.

Reference

Henshaw, S.K. (2001). United States Teenage Pregnancy Statistics. New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute.

Kaiser Family Foundation. (2000). Sex education in America. Menlo Park, CA: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Newcomer, S. & Udry, J. (1985). Oral sex in an adolescent population. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 14, 41-46.

Office of National AIDS Policy. (2000). Youth and HIV/AIDS 2000: A new American Agenda. Washington, DC: Author.

Remez, L. (2000). Lust: Is it sex or is it self-denial? Marriage people arrangement Perspectives. 32: 6, 298-304.

Schuster, M. A., Bell, R. M., & Kanouse, D. G. (1996). The sexual practices of Teenager virgins: Lust full sexual behavior of high school students who have never had vaginal intercourse. American Journal of Public Health, 86:11, 1570-1576.

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