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Unformatted text preview: Taylor Ryan Jenna Bolazina Ali Bromberg Emily Carroll Tim O'Brien Ben Scott Matt Sartori Parenting Adolescents and Young Adults: Sex and Sexuality Discussing issues of sex and sexuality with adolescents and young adults proves challenging to many parents and educators. They struggle with when to begin, what subjects to cover and in what detail. In our research, we covered the following topics relating to sex and sexuality: abstinence vs. comprehensive sex education, contraceptives, peer pressure, sex in the media, LGBT adolescents, cultural differences and talking about sex in the home. The controversy over whether young adults should receive abstinence only sex education or comprehensive sex education has been debated for years. Abstinence-only sex education in schools teaches abstinence from all sexual activity as the only appropriate option for unmarried people and does not provide detailed information on contraception for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections or unintended pregnancies. Proponents of abstinence-only sex education programs argue that abstinence is the only 100% effective method of preventing STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Proponents also believe that information about sex, contraception and HIV can encourage sexual activity in young people (Collins et al., 2002). Between 1996 and 2006, the U.S. government directed more than one billion dollars to abstinence-only education programs. 36 states require that sex education include abstinence. However, in 2010, Congress eliminated two federal programs that had been funding abstinence- only education; the Adolescent Family Life Prevention program and the Community-Based Abstinence Education program. Title V is the only remaining federal abstinence education program and was renewed in 2010 for 5 years which makes available $50 million annually for states to promote sexual abstinence outside of marriage (Santelli et al., 2006). Studies differ about the efficacy of such programs however. It has been reported that 1 in 4 adolescents received abstinence education without receiving any instruction about birth control. Most can agree that overall, there is no supporting evidence for federally-funded abstinence-only-until- marriage education. However, in specific cased this type of education can be effective in delaying initiation of sex in teenagers (Guttmacher Institute, 2011). Comprehensive sex education is an approach to educating teens about human sexuality that includes information about sexuality but also encourages clarifying values and developing decision- making (Collins, C., Alagiri, P., & Summers, T. 1-17). Studies have shown that teens lack the knowledge they need to protect themselves against unintended pregnancies and STIs. In abstinence only education programs, they arent teaching the children about protection or STIs. However with comprehensive sex education they are encouraging abstinence, but also teaching about protection and safety for the young adults. Several studies have shown that sex education has demonstrated positive outcomes, including adults....
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- Spring '08