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The Fight For Sexual Education

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Turn on any channel right now and what will you see? The answer is simple: racy ads and plot lines with a sexual core. Almost every commercial and T.V. show these days has sexual innuendo and mixed sexual messages. Shows such as “16 and Pregnant” go so far as to idolize this idea of sex and pregnancy in young people. So shouldn’t we be worrying about the pressure this puts on America’s teenagers? This is where sex education comes in. Sex education is essential to keep the nation’s teenagers healthy and safe.

The reason many teenagers these days are having sex is because they think that they are safe, and that pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases can’t happen to them. Teenagers without a proper education of sex are unaware of the dangerous and all too real possibility of contracting an STD or becoming pregnant. Not only are there these physical risks, but teenage parents are often unable to support themselves financially. As if all that wasn’t scary enough, even girls that are educated on the risks of unprotected sex are confused on just how they can happen. Many myths are floating around about sex and sexuality, from “I can’t get pregnant if it’s my first time.” to “Well how can I get pregnant if I was partially dressed?” (Wentzel) If teenagers don’t even know how they can be at risk, how can we expect them to stay clean and safe? With a sex education consisting of learning about different STDs and how they can be spread, these young adults can get a better understanding of their and other’s bodies before jumping into the world of sexuality.

Not only is teaching sex education absolutely necessary, but teaching abstinence as part of it is especially necessary. By teaching abstinence, we can better protect the health of teenagers by being able to prevent pregnancy and STDs, all of which can cause emotional and physical trauma. Physical trauma may include such risks such as gonorrhea and genital herpes. 1 of 5 Americans over the age of 12 have genital herpes, and gonorrhea is now the biggest risk in 18-24 year olds. (Bussey) Also, a good sex education would help to tell teenagers that having sex is not what everyone is doing, and is not the only way to be happy in a relationship. As Linda Bussey-- a member of the national advisory board of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health--explains, “Approximately 65 percent of American teens are currently abstinent, including those who have been committed to the concept of secondary virginity. Secondary virginity decreases the risk of disease by decreasing number of lifetime partners and is a very healthy goal for teenagers who have been sexually active in the past.”(Bussey) Abstinence is a healthy and responsible choice to make while growing up.

There are many people, however, who argue against sex education. They argue that sex education only helps to give teenagers a view of sex as a more acceptable behavior, as long as they’re using the birth control they are taught about. Jacqueline R. Kasun argues that none of the seven studies of students taking sex education classes showed a decrease in pregnancy, as well as that sex education increases the chance of 14 year olds having sex by 50%. (Kasun) However, Kasun argues that sex education only increases the chances of intercourse and pregnancy, and fails to mention that a lack of sex education leads to an increase in oral sex, which teenagers consider “casual”, and not the type of sexual relations that will put them in harm’s way. The truth is that oral sex can transmit serious diseases, (such as HIV), just as easily as intercourse, due to the secreting of bodily fluids.

Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that sex education, especially abstinence education, be taught in schools around the country. Sex education would decrease the risk of economic problems caused by raising a child with no financial support, the amount of physical harm due to STDs and early pregnancy, and the emotional pain of raising a child when the parent is still a child themselves. The best thing to do is to address this problem is to advocate for more sex education classes in school.









Works Cited
Bussey, Linda. "Abstinence Education Will Prevent the Spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases." Current Controversies: Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Ed. Bryan J. Grapes. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. SUFFERN SR HIGH SCHOOL. 26 Mar. 2010 <http://e-brary.ramapocentral.org:2082/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010214219&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=suff14876&version=1.0>.












Kasun, Jacqueline R. "Sex Education Promotes Teen Pregnancy." At Issue: Sex Education. Ed. Tamara L. Roleff. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. SUFFERN SR HIGH SCHOOL. 22 Mar. 2010 <http://e-brary.ramapocentral.org:2082/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010023207&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=suff14876&version=1.0>.


















Wentzel, Jo Ann. "A Lack of Accurate Sex Information Contributes to Teenage Pregnancy." Opposing Viewpoints: Teenage Pregnancy. Ed. Auriana Ojeda. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. SUFFERN SR HIGH SCHOOL. 22 Mar. 2010 <http://e-brary.ramapocentral.org:2082/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010165244&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=suff14876&version=1.0>.



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DayofRain50 said...
Jun. 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm:
May I say I believe in sex education, but not abstinence. Abstinence is a religion based idea, so it may be offensive and I think it is okay for people to have sex before marriage. It is there choice, they should make the mistakes, but I also believe it would be better if people were in love before hand and didn't just have one-night stands. 
 
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