Stephanie Spata Van Kirk WRD 104 March 3, 2012 Sex Education in Public Schools In August 2012, the state of New York decided to make sex education in public schools mandatory making it the twenty-second state to do so. Not even half of the United States has standards for sex education. More and more states have been proposing new laws to mandate this type of education. Schools in these states have made sex education mandatory simply by requiring schools to teach about sex in certain grades or by giving them specific information to teach to the students. Sex education usually consists of the onset to not have sex (but is not teaching abstinence); however, if they do choose to have sex, they teach to have healthy and safe sex. These states want to make students aware of abstinence and contraception as two separate options. By making laws like these, states are in hope to have teenagers become more educated with sex and help to get them practicing safe sex. “Over 4 million teens contract a sexually transmitted disease each year (Friedman)”. Female teenagers in America have more pregnancies, births, and abortions than any other Western industrialized country. “Teen mothers are less likely to finish high school and more likely to end up on welfare, and their children are at greater risk for abuse and neglect (Friedman).” These statistics show the importance of sex education in the United States. This topic is important to consider because it affects the youth of our country. Having or not having sex education in schools will affect the knowledge that this adolescence group will grow up having about sex. It could also affect the rate of high school and college drop outs, teen pregnancies and single-parent families, and diseased teens which could ultimately lead to higher unemployment rates. Sex education in public schools is a controversial topic because it concerns religion, beliefs, sexuality, and even health. Many people believe that parents should choose if their children are taught about sex or not. Some also believe that teaching sex education in schools is the wrong approach and that students will not listen or take in the information as wanted. Knowing that there are many different religions with different beliefs, it is difficult to mandate that teens should be sexually educated. On the other hand, others believe students in public schools should be educated about sex. People for sex education in public schools believe that education would reduce the risk of HIV and STDs, teen pregnancies, and abortion. Because the teaching of abstinence has been proven to fail, giving teens options and educating them on contraception, condoms, and diseases could lure them away from dangerous situations related to sex. They also believe that because parents aren’t doing enough at home, students need to be educated in school. Parents often times don’t even have sex talks with their children in fear that it will actually engage their child to become sexually active.
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