Sex among teenagers is one of the most controversial topics of our time. The teen pregnancy and STD rates in the United States alone have become a major problem over the years. Despite these skyrocketing sex cases, sexual education is not being taught in some schools, and the ones that do are extremely limited. Parents, the government, organizations, and school boards do not teach the proper curriculum necessary for students to thoroughly understand sexual behavior. This essay will explain the need for proper sexual education in our schools.
Sexual education has been a heated topic for years. The topic started in 1912 when the National Education Association wanted teachers to begin lecturing in sex ed programs.(Pardini, Priscilla) In 1940 the U.S. Public Health Service labeled sexual education an “urgent need” and strongly advocated it in schools.(Pardini, Priscilla) Though sexual education had support from health officials and educators, there were many opponents.(Pardini, Priscilla) Conservatives and health advisors battled over how sex ed benefits and how it should be taught in schools.(Pardini, Priscilla)
The late 1960s to early 1980s saw the first fave of organized sexual education opposition. (Pardini, Priscilla) These opposers aimed to criticize any form of sex ed being taught in schools.(Pardini, Priscilla) “Sex education programs were described by the Christian Crusade and other conservative groups as ‘smut" and ‘raw sex”.(Pardini, Priscilla) Some “far right” leaders argued that sexual education resulted in an increase in teen sexual activity.(Pardini, Priscilla)
However, these attempts at derailing sex ed programs had little success.(Pardini, Priscilla) Sex ed programs continued to thrive in schools.(Pardini, Priscilla) Evidence suggested that the programs did not promote sex but helped delay sexual activity and pregnancy rates among teens.(Pardini, Priscilla)
“By 1983, sexuality education was being taught within the context of more comprehensive family life education programs or human growth and development courses”.(Pardini, Priscilla) These new approaches emphasized not just reproduction, but also having a positive self esteem, responsibility, and good decision making skills.(Pardini, Priscilla) The new course also covered, along with contraceptive use, financing, and parenting skills.(Pardini, Priscilla)
In the 1980s, the AIDS epidemic drastically changed the way sexual education was taught.(Pardini, Priscilla) “U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report calling for comprehensive AIDS and sexuality education in public schools, beginning as early as the third grade”.(Pardini, Priscilla) Koop called for not only information on heterosexual relationships, but also homosexual.(Pardini, Priscilla) “Koop wrote in his report. ‘The need is critical and the price of neglect is high”.(Pardini, Priscilla) Koops report forced sex ed opponents to rethink opposition strategies.(Pardini, Priscilla) “The Right...