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Sex Education In The America Essay

2012 words - 8 pages

People especially parents wonder what sort of education their children must have when it comes to sexual education been taught in schools. A new poll by NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government finds that only 7 percent of Americans say sex education should not be taught in schools but in most places there is even little debate about what kind of sex education should be taught, although there are still pockets of controversy. There have been no discussions or debates as to what should be taught about sex education (Kaiser: 2004).However, this does not mean that all Americans agree on what kind of sex education is best. There are major differences over the issue of self-discipline. 15 percent of Americans believe that schools should teach only about self-control from sexual intercourse and should not provide information on how to obtain and use condoms and other contraception. Most of them believe that the most appropriate approach is one that might be called "abstinence-plus" that while abstinence is best, some teens do not abstain, so schools also should teach about condoms and contraception. 36 percent believe that abstinence is not the most important thing, and that sex education should focus on teaching teens how to make responsible decisions about sex. Only 15 percent of Americans say they want abstinence-only sex education in the schools, 30 percent of the principals of public middle schools and high schools where sex education is taught report that their schools teach abstinence only. 47 percent of their schools taught abstinence-plus, while 20 percent taught that making responsible decisions about sex was more important than abstinence. Middle schools were more likely to teach abstinence-only than high schools while High schools thought that to teach abstinence is not the most important thing (Kaiser: 2004).Based on a survey conducted by the teachers of Clear River public school, CA; shows that since the late 1980s, sexuality education in secondary schools has become more focused on abstinence and less likely to provide students with information about contraception. The survey results show that the percentage of public school teachers in grades 7-12 who teach abstinence as the only way of preventing pregnancies and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) rose dramatically between 1988 and 1995 from one in 50 to one in four. Additionally, nearly three in four present abstinence as the preferred way to avoid unintended pregnancy and STDs (The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy: 2001).Teachers are also emphasizing different topics than they did in the past. Compared with teachers in the late 1980s, teachers today are more likely to teach about abstinence, STDs and resisting peer pressure to have sex, but are significantly less likely to discuss more controversial subjects such as birth control, abortion and sexual orientation. Even if teachers are allowed to cover these sensitive topics, they may avoid them...

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