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Unformatted text preview: Walid Matariyeh The Need for Comprehensive Sex Education How is it that a country which is renowned all around the world has the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease (Allen)? Moreover, how is it that the United States is also the number one country in adoption rates as well as abortions (Allen)? The answer to that question is a lack of proper sex education. The United States does not do enough in regard to sex education in order to help teenagers make responsible choices when deciding when is the right time to have sex. Teenagers need to be exposed to the different effects of sexually transmitted disease and understand how to use condoms and contraceptives. In order to help teenagers have fewer unexpected pregnancies, abortions, and sexually transmitted diseases, they need to be exposed to everything which is associated with sex. Sexuality for many teenagers is considered the cornerstone of life (Biddulph). The mere fact that sex is such a huge stepping stone in a teenager's life should help to show the attention that should be given to all teenagers who need to be guided when making choices about sex and what kind of role it will play in their lives. Unless people help to guide teenagers then these teens will continue to make bad choices. When people see that over the years the sexually transmitted disease rate has quadrupled (Bloom), it makes one wonder exactly what is necessary for people to try and change to make things get better. Irresponsible sex, in most cases, only ends with more problems than before having sex. People need to understand that when these teenagers continue to make their own choices without necessarily being exposed to possibilities from making the bad choice, they will continue to make the bad choices and ultimately hurt themselves and in many cases those around them. Sex education can not only help teens make the right choice about when to have sex, it will also help teenagers make the right choice about whom to have sex with. A comprehensive sex education can help give teens insight into what they want out of a relationship as well as what needs they have from a given relationship. Most teens do not know what they want from a relationship and many do not even know what to look for in a mate. Comprehensive sex education will show teens what it means to have sex and the possible physical and emotional tolls that often occur. Not only will teens be more prepared to have responsible sex they will also be more prepared for finding the right person in life. The necessity of sex education varies depending on the makeup of the given neighborhood. For example a study showed that areas in Florida which were poverty stricken had a 70% higher std and pregnancy rate than the upper level neighborhoods (Madden). Moreover the studies found that minorities in Florida accounted for more than 45% of sexually transmitted diseases and more than 60% of pregnancies (Madden). Although everyone needs some sort of sex education, in some areas there is a larger demand due to the composition of the area. People in lower income neighborhoods seem more accustomed to having sex at younger ages; so one begins to wonder why in these lower income neighborhoods there is less sex education that in the richer neighborhoods (Madden). The fact is different things such as language barriers and behavior allow schools to avoid teaching a subject such as sex education and the different uses of a contraceptive. However one must take a look at the big picture, if even one child in the whole room decides to use protection when having sex than that school has just helped save someone's life and make a large difference. People need to begin to put the thoughts and emotions of others before their own comfort. Schools need to realize that unless they take some sort of initiative to help endorse the use of condoms and contraceptives there will never be a lowered rate for sexually transmitted diseases. Teenagers will continue to have irresponsible sex and continue to either have sexually transmitted diseases or unexpected and unprepared pregnancies. The cycle of irresponsible sex has been occurring for years and only getting larger as time has progressed. The fact is people need to start to take a look and see that not enough is being done to make this growing problem better. Now although many higher income neighborhoods are shown to be less susceptible to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases than lower income neighborhoods, there is still need for concern. Sarah Palin, a famous politician, has a daughter who at the age of 17 became pregnant (Fulwiler). The idea that a politician is exposed to a reality such as this is astounding and helps to show everyone the need for concern. Sarah Palin is a conservative believer in regards to sex education and what should be included in sex education classes. She spoke at a convention about how she felt sex education should teach abstinent only ideals. Sarah Palin, being a mother, obviously would rather her child wait until marriage before having sex. However, if she looked at the situation more unbiased she would see that if her daughter was taught about the use of contraceptives in her school it is possible she may not have gotten pregnant at such a young age. A politician who was almost elected vice president of the United States suffered the effects of poor sex education. Maybe it is time for people to stop blaming the children and start taking a look at themselves as the cause for many of the reoccurring problems. If children were taught more about sex and were able to talk about any concerns they have in regards to sex than it is hard to say that they would still make as many irresponsible mistakes as they are currently making. No matter how rough it may seem people are allowing negligence to be the answer to many problems. The fact that the United States has the third highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases in the world is frightening (Hauswirth). Although most sexually transmitted diseases are being spread in poverty stricken areas, higher income neighborhoods should still take Sarah Palin's experience as a warning to how they should treat the topic. People still ignore pleas from teenagers. A poll was taken in an anonymous high school and of 473 students whom participated the most popular topics in relation to sex education were pregnancy, puberty, and masturbation (Kim). Teachers and parents are not seeing the silent pleas that these teenagers are constantly sending out. The need for uncomfortable questions to be answered for all of these teens is causing them to go out and make irresponsible decisions because teenagers do not have any where they can go and speak comfortably about these topics. Girls are confused about pregnancy and its effects. Boys are maturing physically and wish to know all of the effects of their maturing process. Boys are also feeling the need to masturbate to compensate for their lack of sexual activity. Many adults do not connect with the teenagers of today because the teenagers of today and adults of today are growing up in very different generations. People do not seem to comprehend that in the 1970s the need for sex and the promotion of sex was no where near where it is today. Teenagers are growing up in a world surrounded by sex, and all these teenagers want to do is to get a taste of the sex around them. Unless there is a structured environment to learn about how to have sex safely and intelligently, these teenagers will never continue to make bad decisions leading to more pregnancies and more sexually transmitted diseases. A change needs to be made in order to help everyone. Although the results do not seem to favor this idea, there has been a strong effort put forth to help endorse a sex education program throughout the United States. People do not realize that the government offers all states money every year for the purpose of sex education (Donovan). Many states choose to reject this money and do not have much of a sex education policy in place. The government has shown that sex education does matter by giving federal funds to endorse sex education programs in the United States. However, a major problem with this is the idea that these government funds are being used to support abstinence only sex education classes. It is clear that the teenagers of today's society are not being influenced by abstinence only education classes which makes one see that a need for change is necessary in order to grow as a country. The needs of the teens of today are constantly growing. Society needs to take a look around them and see how their actions are helping or hurting these teens and how their choices reflect on these teenagers. "Every year more than 1.5 billion dollars is budgeted out for sex educational use. However, over the last 5 years the number of sexually transmitted diseases has quadrupled and abortion rates have gone through the roof. Maybe our tax dollars could use some results?" said Cheryl Sears. The need for change has been growing every year and unless a change is finally made there is going to be no way to stop the number of people who die everyday from sexually transmitted diseases unless the teens of today are taught everything they need to know about sex in a structured setting. Whom do most teenagers look up to and dream of being? The answer is simple, celebrities. Teens see the flashing lights, the nice cars, and the expensive jewelry and instantly make that their goal in life. "I will one day be a celebrity." However, these teens do not realize exactly what responsibilities come with being a celebrity. According to Susan Wilson nearly 2 out of every 3 celebrities has been exposed to some sort of sexually transmitted disease. Teenagers see many rappers living lavish and luxurious lives with women all around and wish for something even remotely similar. Just by watching television teenagers minds are filled with thoughts of having sex and being with men or women. Unless teenagers are shown how to have sex with others responsibly there will always be an uncontrollable number of sexually transmitted diseases and abortions. If a teenager makes one mistake and decides not to wear a condom without really thinking about the consequences then that little amount of pleasure may lead to a great deal of sadness and discomfort. It is frightening to see what people sacrifice for a minute of pleasure and so many possible bad consequences and results. Teenagers are always in such a rush to grow up and end up acting maturely trying to show they are adults. Many teenagers do not realize that the fact that they attempt to be an adult so much makes them less of an adult. Teenager's environments are constantly endorsing the idea of being an adult and teenagers are so anxious to grow up. They feel the need to have sex prematurely which somehow shows that they are beginning to grow up. Society has constant propaganda around showing these teenagers that by growing up they can be exposed to sex and happiness when in reality if these teenagers rush to grow up they will be exposed to the exact opposite. No televisions like to show how much the celebrities pay for child support and other miscellaneous charges that many celebrities are exposed to. Comprehensive sex education will help to show teenagers nationwide everything they need to know about sex. Comprehensive sex education includes tutorials showing how to use condoms and different contraceptives that can be used in order to help avoid pregnancy. Comprehensive sex education also discusses different topics which many teenagers may find uncomfortable talking about with their parents or guardians. These teenagers need a place where they can go and actually be able to talk about all of the things that go through most teenagers' minds. A sex education course helps because it does not have an uncomfortable setting. It is a very open environment in which people gather in order to discuss their different thoughts about sex and ask any questions that may arise. How is a child with only a mother supposed to walk up and talk to her about masturbation? A child needs answers however a parent or guardian does not have to be the only person with an answer for them anymore. By helping a teenager stay abstinent and knowledgeable a teenager is able to make more responsible decisions later on in life which may not solely be based on his or her desire for pleasure. A teenager that is able to practice self control is able to control their thoughts and emotions in order to stop themselves from possibly making a reckless decision. Even the current president of the United States, Barack Obama, he chose to make a deliberate effort to speak about sex education. When there are so many problems that are so daunting and scary, the fact that the man running for president still speaks about his views of sex education in multiple states it shows just how important of an issue it really is. The problem is that even when a president speaks about this topic as being a problem still nothing is done to really resolve the problem or alleviate any of the stress being felt because of the lack of sex education. Many adults do not realize that today's day and age includes a lot more ideals about sex than their generations did. One begins to question whether or not people are moving along with the change or allowing it to just pass them by with little regard to what is going on around them. Everyday more and more teenagers are having sex and getting sexually transmitted diseases. Parents constantly talk about having the birds and the bees talk when few actually carry out their plan. It is hard enough to get children to be home by curfew however it is near impossible to control them to the point where they do not have sex until marriage. Politically speaking everyone should wait until marriage before having sex however realistically speaking in today's day and age there are few people who do hold off the urge and many eventually give in to the urge to have sex. The only thing that society as a whole can do to help these teenagers is to make sure that they are atleast well educated before deciding to have sex. These teenagers do not realize it but they need someone to dictate to them the positives and negatives of having sex and the possible effects of having sex. As easy as it may seem for one to say do not have sex until you are married one can never really enforce this idea no matter how hard they try. As risky as sex is, teenagers still chose to do it, and many are beginning to do it at a younger and younger age. Although many efforts have been taken for abstinence only sex ideas it is time for people to make a change for the better in order to help the teenagers see the faults in their actions. Teenagers who have no sex education are the ones whom society should focus their efforts on. These teenagers do not have any real guidance and this leads to these different teenagers not being educated well about the topics that should be covered within a sexual education class. People constantly talk about different sex related topics and these teenagers will only see one side of the argument and do not understand that there are very bad effects to possibly having unprotected or irresponsible sex. Teenagers without sex education do not realize the different sexually transmitted diseases that are talked about in a comprehensive sex education class. One could argue that these different topics are too vulgar and ultimately will only show these teenagers the different ideas and give them insight into inappropriate sex topics. No matter how hard society attempts to instill a sex education course only consisting of abstinence only, people need to see that these are necessary steps to instill fear into many teenagers and show them that sex is not always the answer. No matter how hard one may try to fight it the statistics about the sexually transmitted diseases and abortion rates over the years does not lie and it is evident that the no sex until marriage classes are not helping to make these stats decrease. When the sex education courses begin to show stats that help improve how many children are being exposed to sexually transmitted diseases then one may argue to keep it in place. "By their 18th birthday six out of every 10 teenagers will have had sex (Vincent)." The only thought that comes to mind when hearing a statistic such as that one is the idea of fear. Basically these children are being exposed to this sex before they are old enough to vote. It is hard to think that 1.5 billion dollars is being contributed to a nationwide sex education program when this program clearly does not work and ultimately serves little good. The program stresses the idea of waiting to have sex until marriage yet even after having a sex education class 60% of the teenagers of today are still having sex with little regard to the lectures being given about not having sex. Although reform has taken place by inflicting a mandatory sex education policy, a new policy of comprehensive sex education must be done to help these teenagers learn to make better choices about having sex. Comprehensive sex education courses must at least be attempted in order to determine their effectiveness. If it is found that the courses ultimately do not help to alleviate the sexually transmitted disease rate or abortion rate and actually make the rates rise at this point a change is needed. Comprehensive sex education is the change that society needs to avoid the problems of sexually transmitted diseases and abortions. Works Cited Page Allen, Louisa. "Poles apart? Gender differences in proposals for sexuality education content" Gender and Education 20.5 (September 2008) Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il. < http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=20&hid=112&sid=5d434dd5-36604255-9feae7bc2a076918%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=34084847> Biddulph, Max. "Rules of Engagement: Boys, Young Men and the Challenge of Effective Sex and Relationships Education." Pastoral Care in Education (September 2007) Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il. < http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail? vid=9&hid=112&sid=5d434dd5-3660-4255-9feae7bc2a076918%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=J0E308620071907.> Bloom, Adi. "Press holds sway on sex lessons" Times Educational Supplement 4803 (September 2008) Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il. < http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail? vid=21&hid=112&sid=5d434dd5-3660-4255-9feae7bc2a076918%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=34451298> Donovan, Patricia. "Sex education in America's schools: Progress and obstacles." USA Today Magazine 121.2566 (Summer 1995) Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=13&hid=12&sid=5d434dd5-36604255-9feae7bc2a076918%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=9208312662> Fulwiler, Jennifer. "A Sexual Revolution." America 199.1 (July 7, 2008) Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il. < http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=9&hid=112&sid=5d434dd5-36604255-9feae7bc2a076918%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=32853384.> Hauswirth, Kevin. "Everything They Always Wanted to Know About Sex" Advocate 1014 (September 2008) Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il. < http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail? vid=20&hid=112&sid=5d434dd5-3660-4255-9feae7bc2a076918%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=33955695> Kim, Caron. "Recent Evaluations of the Peer-Led Approach in Adolescent Sexual Health Education: A Systematic Review" Perspective on Sexual and Reproductive Health 40.3 (September 2008) Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il. < http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=20&hid=112&sid=5d434dd5-36604255-9feae7bc2a076918%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=34137096> Madden, Kristy. "Let's talk about sex." Lesbian News 23.1 (September 1997) Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il. < http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=12&hid=112&sid=5d434dd5-36604255-9feae7bc2a076918%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=9710112898> Vincent, Kerry. "Teenage Pregnancy and Sex and Relationship Education: Myths and (mis)Conceptions." Pastoral Care in Education 25.3 (September 2007) Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=9&hid=112&sid=5d434dd5-36604255-9feae7bc2a076918%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=26314015> ...
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This note was uploaded on 05/17/2010 for the course BIO 111 taught by Professor Osikanlu during the Spring '09 term at Moraine Valley Community College.
- Spring '09