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Abstinence Only Vs. Abstinence Plus Essay

1687 words - 7 pages

There are many problems facing teenagers these days. None are bigger than the issue of underage sex, and all the issues stemming from it. The number of teenagers becoming sexually active, pregnant, and contracting sexually transmitted diseases are rapidly on the rise. There is no simple fix, or easy solution to this problem. Sex education should begin at home, and extend to include an effective program in schools that reinforce a clear message of abstaining from sexual activity in addition to informing students of the risks posed by engaging in sexual activity. The political, and religious dissension on this issue has resulted in a procedural stalemate preventing schools from effectively addressing the problem, and implement a comprehensive sex-education program that benefits young adults in Texas and the rest of the United States.
Abstinence-Only programs are currently the most used in public schools, but this method is seriously out-dated and does not aptly deal with the issue that teenagers are participating in underage sex regardless of whether they have been told that they should not. Without the proper information, teenagers are blindly making a decision about having sex that could impact their lives in far many more ways than they can fathom, most not fully understanding the ramifications of their decision. The implementation across the nation of a comprehensive Abstinence-Plus program teaching: abstinence, health risks, birth control, teen pregnancy, and providing students with information and birth control is exactly what is needed.
Strong emotions, and opinions are found on both sides of this argument, but the fact of the matter is that Abstinence-Only programs are insufficient in educating teenagers about the full ramifications of deciding to have sex. Proponents of Abstinence-Only programs are vehemently against Abstinence-Plus programs on both a moral, and a religious level. “The ideal of what historian Anne Higonnet calls the Romantic Child, our modern image of a naturally asexual, pure child, is at the heart of century-long conflicts over sex education. By definition, the romantic child’s innocence depends on protection from sexuality” (Talk About Sex 13). Parents, in general, do not feel at ease thinking about their children having sex, nor do they want to encourage them to do so. The fact that most parents are not comfortable talking about the subject with their children only increases the importance of doing so in our schools.
Opposition of the Abstinence-Plus program centers around the belief that by comprehensively informing students about sex, and responsible practices, in addition to supplying contraceptives, will send a message that not only is it okay to have sex but here have a condom to do it with. In some cases, they actually suggest the importance of telling students that condoms are “ineffective and do not work“ (Teenage Sexuality 205). Over the past few decades, several attempts have...

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