Sex Education And The American Family

1707 words - 7 pages

For years, the question “Should schools teach sex education?” has been asked in American households; and many families have agreed that they would rather not have the schools teach sex education to their children. In each region of the country, there are families that feel the money should not fund sex education, especially funds put into public education, because that is “a duty for the parents.” A question remains, however, why people do not discuss sex with their children, and does this lack of communication between child and parent affect the child’s future. This lack of communication has been proven through studies to be harmful to the lifestyles and well-being of members of society. The importance of family involvement and communication in sex education should be emphasized to reduce the future risks of sexually transmitted infections, prolonged psychological trauma, or confusion in the United States. Studies have shown that sexual education between parents and children does show progress in decreasing premature sexual activity and STI rates.
The debate about what should be taught to the children is another issue; as is, how much of that information should be taught. Currently, eighteen states and the District of Columbia require schools to provide sex education and thirty-two do not. In some states, such as Louisiana, students may learn about HIV/AIDS, but not about any other sexually transmitted infections or how to prevent pregnancy. In other states, like Washington, teens receive information on everything from birth control pills to homosexuality. However, this once again raises the question about who should be educateing these children about sex and how to do it.
The family unit has been shown to be a determining factor in how people have come about their sexual acts and the repercussions of those acts. Studies on over two hundred men and women (Haglund) have shown the correlation between religion and family structure to sexual behaviors. The data from the studies displayed that mostly practicing religious families and stable two-parent households have been examples how family involvement affects the outcome and possibility of sexual activity in offspring. Researchers examined families with strong religious backgrounds to be fifty percent less likely to have many sexual partners if any. Strongly devout Christian families encourage and influence their children to practice abstinence in order to “stay pure” and healthy. By doing so, the opportunity to “reach Heaven and find moral peace” is easier and more likely. Research has also shown that children from two-parent households are encouraged abstinence and are fifteen percent less likely to have sex or many sexual partners. Two-parent homes represent stability within the family unit and show a value of commitment to one person; therefore, the children raised in these types of homes will be less inclined to be promiscuous or curious about sex with others because they have been raised...

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