SEX ED - Lauryn Soorani Writing 140/Rel 140 Fall 2008...

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Lauryn Soorani Writing 140/Rel 140 Fall 2008, Essay #3 Lindsay Nelson The Importance of a Comprehensive Sexual Education As religious ideals have spread throughout public spheres in America, comprehensive sexual education has become something to be feared and fought off by many conservative parents and educators. The issues of moral corruption, emotional readiness, and teen safety have prompted many schools to teach abstinence as the only means of sexual education and ignore all else. While religious values, safety, and emotional readiness are issues that must be taken into account, the negative aspects of denying teens of a full comprehensive sexual education have far too many negative repercussions. The major priority regarding teens should be maintaining their physical and emotional health. The only way to effectively do so is to inform them of the positive aspects as well as the possible negative repercussions that surround sexual activity. Whether or not parents like to admit it, many teens will opt to engage in some form of sexual activity within their high school years. Thus, comprehensive sexual education in public high schools should be mandatorily in high school with material geared both towards the sexually active and those who have yet to engage in sexual activity. As a result, teens will be able to make their own mature and educated decisions on whether or not they wish to engage in any forms of sexual activity and will have the ability to do so in a safe and responsible manner.
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The term abstinence , though constantly used parents, educators, and politicians has not been as clearly defined as most think. Abstinence programs and educators define it as the voluntary refrain from sexual intercourse, but whether or not this includes other sexual behavior such as anal sex, oral sex, mutual masturbation, touching, and kissing varies depending on the program or with whom you are talking to. However, despite differences in definitions, reasoning behind the advocacy of various abstinence-only education programs remains the same; their primary concern is maintaining the moral character and emotional health of teens in America. To reach this goal, abstinence educators stress that refraining from engaging in sexual intercourse until marriage is the best possible choice a teen can make. Other important goals of abstinence programs include reducing the percentage of teen pregnancies, reversing the risky behavior of previously sexually active teens, and keeping teens from contracting STDs and HIV/AIDS. i Because abstinence-only educators fear it will encourage teens to engage in premarital sexual activity, the information dispensed in classes does not contain much of what comprehensive sexual education courses do. Teens are not taught how to use or obtain contraceptives, where to go incase they contract an STD and/or HIV/AIDS, or where to go to seek counseling about and/or obtain an abortion. Though it may come off as risking the health of teenagers by keeping such information from them, abstinence
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SEX ED - Lauryn Soorani Writing 140/Rel 140 Fall 2008...

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