Munther ibrahim

4/08/2013
Opening divers doors

Sex Education in Utah Public Schools

Where do our children get the information about sex education? Schools are the one institute
that children regularly attend; they are geared towards increasing student’s knowledge and
improving their skills. Sex education in public schools now seems to be more and more of a
controversial issue. People are arguing whether sex education should be taught in public
schools or whether it is the parent’s responsibility to teach their children. I believe it should be
the parent’s responsibility to teach their children about sexual education, but there is no
guarantee that children will be taught by the parents. In formal survey of 8,000 students over 12
years of age, fewer than eighty percent had received meaningful sex education from their
parents (Gordon). Many children feel that parents are the least informative source for
information concerning birth control and sexually transmitted diseases, A parent’s responsibility
becomes a burden to society when they choose not to educate their child. This generation could
be in real danger if parents were left to educate their children on sexuality. There are eighteen
states that require by law to provide information about some kind of sex education, whether it’s
about STDs, HIV/AIDS, abstinence or information on contraception. These states are Nevada,
Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa,
Minnesota, Kentucky, Vermont, West Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island,
New Hampshire. The District of Columbia in Pennsylvania is also required to provide some type
of sexual education. Idaho schools are not required by law to provide any sex education to our
schools, according to Teen-Aid Inc. Evidence shows that comprehensive sex education
programs that provide information about both abstinence and contraception can help delay the
onset of sexual activity among teens reduce their number of sexual partners and increase
The Utah House approved a bill that would bar discussion of "contraceptive methods or
devices" in sex education classes, and allow public schools to end sex education
entirely.
House Bill 363 requires schools that do teach sex education to teach "abstinence only."
The state House approved HB 363 last week by 45-28 vote.
Sponsored by Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, the measure allows school districts the option
to drop sex education courses for grades 8 through 12, but if they to teach it, to
abstinence-only instruction.
The bill states: "Human sexuality instruction or instructional programs shall teach and
stress: the importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity
after marriage as the only sure methods for preventing certain communicable diseases;
and personal skills that encourage individual choice of abstinence and fidelity.
"Human sexuality instruction or instructional programs may not include instruction or the
advocacy of the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior;
homosexuality; contraceptive methods or devices; or sexual activity outside of
marriage."
Though the bill prohibits instruction on contraception, teachers would be allowed to
answer questions on the topic if posed by students.
Utah's public schools today use abstinence-based, not abstinence-only, education and
are prohibited from encouraging the use of contraceptives to promote safe sex.
"At no time may instruction be provided, including responses to spontaneous questions
raised by students, regarding any means or methods that facilitate or encourage the
violation of any state or federal criminal law by a minor or an adult.
"An instructor may respond to a spontaneous question as long as the response is
consistent with the bill's provisions," the bill states.