Sex education informs young people of what they need to know about sex and their risk factors. Sex education being taught in schools not only talks about sex, but makes students aware of sexual reproduction, health, and sexuality. Are teenagers being exposed to sex education to early? At what age should this subject be introduced to children? It is believed that school children engaging in sexual activity is increasing, however statistics and the media state otherwise. “A significant decrease among students, where the proportion who are sexually active declined from 59 percent in 1991 to 41 percent in 2011 (Child Trends).” The purpose of this essay is to not only state the pros and cons but to inform both parents and students of why sex education needs to be taught in schools.
Over the years the topic has gone through various changes in the public school system. The first generation taught sexual anatomy and the risk of pregnancy, but soon was criticized for not showing knowledge of reducing risky sexual behavior, which soon lead to the second generation (Rodriguez, 1). The second generation approached sexual communication, values, and making personal decisions in one’s life; although students made smarter decisions in the areas taught, it failed to introduce teens to all contraceptives, therefore risky behavior was still being shown. Following the failure of the second generation the program of “abstinence only” began. The problem with this was it not only made students aware of the contraception available to the children, therefore encouraging risky behavior. The most current generation, the practice being taught in schools today, is known as “comprehensive sexuality education”; it not only encourages young adults to stay abstinent, but also makes them aware of refusal skill, communication strategies, and other related areas (Rodriguez).
Sex education is taught as early as elementary school and in four different stages: young children, intermediate children, older children, and teens. Sex education is being taught as early as elementary school but the school system makes sure what is being taught is age appropriate and in four different stages. Young children ages five to seven are self-centered and do not put others into perspective; sexually children of this age only know the gender difference and modest public exposure of the body. Children around this age usually like to explore their bodies; therefore parents at home play a significant role. Age eight to ten, known as intermediate children, are able to differentiate themselves from others internally and externally. More complex information is being given to the kids because they are now more informative of reproductive mechanisms. The goal of sexuality education at this stage is to make students aware of HIV/AIDS in the Unites States as well as abroad and the idea of hormones. Pre-teens or older children ages eleven and twelve, can easily see how one factor (lack of...