Comprehensive Sec Education Essay

1592 words - 7 pages

Public opinion polls have validated that most Americans, both parents and students, support sex education being taught in our schools. For example, a survey conducted in 2004 by the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation, the Kennedy School of Government, and National Public Radio, determined that more than 90% of parents supported teaching sex education in schools. The results of this study also revealed that: 93% of parents discovered that the sex education programs in their child’s school were either very or somewhat helpful in dealing with sexual issues, 98% wanted their child to learn about HIV and AIDS, 94% wanted their child to learn about getting tested for STD’s, 93% of those polled wanted ...view middle of the document...

Dr. Douglas Kirby, senior research scientist for ETR Associates and nonpartisan expert on the effectiveness of school and community programs in the reduction of adolescent sexual risk-taking behaviors, (Kirby, 1997,p. 339) describes the components of effective sex education as a program that: “uses age-appropriate goals, teaching methods, and resources that are also developmentally and culturally appropriate and competent. These programs are to be based on theoretical approaches that have been proven to be effective and take place over sufficient amount of time in order to cover necessary topics and skills. Effective sex education programs also employ a variety of teaching methods that present the information in ways that make it relevant to each student. In order to provide a successful programs students and teachers must have access to accurate information about the risks of unprotected sexual intercourse alongside explain how to avoid unprotected sexual intercourse, include activities that address peer pressure and cultural pressure. During these programs students must also be able to practice decision making, communication, and refusal skills, taught by teachers who are trained, approachable, comfortable, and truly stand by the program” (Kirby, 1997,p. 339).
It is evident that the want and need for proper sex education is high; however, there is a stigma that goes with teaching and learning about sex education. People much too often mistakenly believe that sexual education refers only to the act of sexual intercourse. The United States government highly promotes abstinence-only programs. In 1997, the federal government set aside multimillion-dollar grants for the states to develop abstinence-based curricula (Blonna, Carter, & Levitan, 2010, p. 11). And these programs do just that-promote abstinence from sexual behavior without referencing the many variables that make up sexuality. Schools and programs that teach abstinence exclude curriculum and materials pertaining to the discussion of other important sex topics, for instance, those concerned with birth control, safer sex, relationships, and sexual orientation. In reality, abstinence-only programs often provide inaccurate, extremist, and misleading information about the effectiveness of condoms and other forms of contraception, STD’s and STI’s, as well as are filled with over generalizations about sex (Carter, 2012, p. 15).
While sexual behavior is a part of comprehensive sex education, people aim to overlook the diversified components and topics that make up the concept of sexuality; such as: body image, anatomy, safer sex, contraception, gender, growth and development, reproduction and pregnancy, relationships, societal attitudes about sex, sexual behavior, sexual health, sexual orientation, sexual pleasure, as well as abstinence.
The United States is rated first among established nations in percentage of both teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. However, the...

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