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Sexual Education For Youth In Care

2044 words - 8 pages

Sexuality, sexual intercourse, intimacy and passion are the major factors contributing to our own identity and they enable us to have a substantial degree of individuality. Sexuality is believed to begin developing by some as early as a mother's womb, however, sexuality is developing and growing through the experimental years of adolescence and puberty. Sexual education plays a dramatically large role in teaching adolescents the values of safe sex, self-discovery, identity, and educating youth on the reproductive organs and their functions. Some children are fortunate to have a rich family up-bringing where open communication concerning sex is prevalent, however, for a teen who is involved in the justice system or a social services, information may be tainted or misconstrued. While their counterparts are learning sexual education within the school system, most of these youths are dealing with family crisis, drugs, truancy, or other behaviours that would rob their ability to participate or absorb what is being said. The lack of information children in care (in some agencies) youth are receiving concerning sexual education is staggering. The majority of information and knowledge youths receive on sex is, surprisingly, from their peers. Knowing this, it is not surprising that many teens are misinformed when sexual matters are discussed. Sexual education within the school system is also said to be compromised. Before teens graduate from high school, research states that at least two thirds will lose their virginity and one in four will contract a sexually transmitted infection (2003, Siecus). Furthermore, by age twenty, four in ten girls will be pregnant (2003, Siecus). If surveys and research state that sexual education in the school system is compromised, how much worse can sexual education fall within social agencies and correctional facilities that are notably receiving less funding? There is hope, many say, as Centres for Disease Control and Prevention states that condom use among teenagers and school aged children stands at 63% in 2003 compared to 46% in 1992 (2004, Adrienne Verrilli & Nicole Cordier). In a brief phone conversation with Adrienne Verrili, it is stated that statistics for open custody facilities although not recorded, follow the same trend. "The overall decline in sexual activity and increased condom use among high school students since 1991 is a healthy and positive trend, but we still have a long way to go," said Tamara Kreinin, President and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). "Parents, lawmakers, community leaders, and educators must recommit themselves to giving young people what they want, need, and deserve - medically accurate, life-saving sexual health information, communication skills, and relationship skills to help them become sexually healthy adults," Kreinin continued. Knowing our goals, recognizing the problem, and wanting to change is not only enough. Why...

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