Students reporting that they were physically forced

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students reporting that they were physically forced to have sexual intercourse is about 8%. Also, the percentage of students reporting they had sexual intercourse before the age of 13, when they were possibly too immature to appreciate intimacy, was 6%. The percentage of students who reported having more than one sexual partner in the 3 months preceding the survey data collection is 34%, which may indicate that they also do not understand intimacy. Figure 11.7 Rates of sexual behavior across adolescence. Source: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), 2009. Page 387 Because sexual behaviors and relationships are a common part of what it means to be an adolescent in the United States, young people need sexual education that effectively furthers their sense of sexual health and well-being, and enables them to protect themselves against STIs, pregnancy, and sexual violence.
Teens have indicated that they want to talk about sex and would like to have a say in the sex education curriculum. Student Perspectives About Sexual Education Sexuality education is a hot topic for diverse groups around the globe. In New Zealand, for example, sexual education is a target for competing social and political interests. Parents, teachers, school administrators, policymakers, civil liberties organizations, conservatives, and liberals have all made their preferences clear regarding the content to include in sexual education. Until recently, though, young people have been left out of the conversation. To get a student perspective, Louisa Allen (2008) looked at the preferences of 16- to 19-year-olds for improving the content of sexuality education. She based her analysis on information gathered from 10 focus groups and 1,180 surveys from youths in New Zealand. Allen's study revealed that young people in New Zealand want content about emotions in relationships, teenage parenthood, abortion, and how to make sexual activity pleasurable. In addition, their responses indicate a desire to make their own decisions, to have a voice in their own sexual development and behavior, and to have access to information that will help them find more pleasure in their relationships. These results are important because they give adults a glimpse of the kind of information that interests teenagers. They want to be informed. They want to talk about sex. Interestingly, there has been some conversation about creating a more provocative curriculum for sex education and including the topic of sexual pleasure. For a discussion on teaching sexual pleasure, see “Controversies in Sexuality: To Teach or Not to Teach Sexual Pleasure?” Categories of Sexual Education Programs Today, three major categories of programs address childhood and adolescent sexuality: (1) abstinence-only programs, (2) comprehensive sexuality education programs, and (3) youth development programs.
We have seen that abstinence-only programs are highly ineffective in their goal of delaying the onset of sexual intercourse. In addition, these programs provide little to no information for LGBTQ youth—a dangerous omission for sexual minorities that may be exposed to harrassment and bullying, HIV, and

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