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Sex Education in Schools

LAS 301: The Adult Learner

Caroline Hudson

Siena Heights University

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Sex education either happens in the home or at school, or a combination of both. Unfor-

tunately, not all homes are having the sex talk necessary with their teenagers. When teenagers are

not getting educated on safety methods, risks, and how to prevent pregnancy at home nor at

school, this helps no one in the end. Sex education is necessary in teens around the United States

in order to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy. 86% of the decline in

teen pregnancies between 1995 and 2002 could be accounted for by contraceptive use while only

14% was attributed to teens abstaining from sex. (US Centers for Disease Control and Preven-

tion CDC) Therefore, it is not realistic to not teach students about sex and the proper methods

for safe sex. Teaching students the risks and consequences of having unprotected sex will lead to

a decrease in teenage pregnancy and amount of people with STDS. Teaching abstinence only sex

education or not teaching about sex at all will cause pregnant teens to have problems with their

health, financially, and academically. Sex education should continue in public schools because it

prevents sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy.

According to Advocates for Youth, Evaluations of comprehensive sex education and

HIV/ STI prevention programs show that they do not increase rates of sexual initiation, do not

lower the age at which youth initiate sex, and do not increase the frequency of sex or the number

of sex partners among sexually active youth. While this is true, the site also mentions the teen

birth rate is still tremendously lower when there is comprehensive sex education taught in

schools. While this is only preventative of teenage pregnancy, it is better than not preventing or

lowering any of the negatives that come from sexually active teens. I am also keeping in mind

that sources are at times biased.

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When I looked for positives of being a young mother on the internet, essentially all the

research that came up was logical fallacies and no serious claims in order to help prove the op-

posing case of sex education- but regardless, some of the positives included the following.

Youre so poor when they are babies that your financial situation can only get better. You never

really knew what it was like to have freedom, as in proper adult freedom, so you don't have it to

miss.(The Telegraph) Also, no serious/scientific resources came up which also speaks volumes

regarding the topic of pros of teenage pregnancy, which really just says sex education in teens

needs to be demonstrated in order to teach preventative methods and educate on the negatives

that can occur when having unprotected sex- not only STDS but what can happen in teenage


Safe sex education is the best way to prevent teen pregnancy and STDS. Half of the 20

million sexually transmitted diseases contracted each year in the US are between people between

the ages 15 and 24. (CDC report) This is astonishing to me, and not having any form of sex edu-

cation or abstinence only education will not help this case at all because when people make the

decision to have sex at a young age, they are uneducated on the risks and how to be preventative

of diseases. There are also a numerous amount of health risks young mothers have with their ba-

bies or with themselves. Teenage mothers are more vulnerable to hypertension and anemia than

adults. They are also less likely than older mothers to seek appropriate prenatal care, and less

likely to gain an appropriate amount of weight while pregnant. Infants born to teen mothers are

more likely than other children to have low birth weights which gives a greater risk of death as

an infant, and developing blindness, deafness, mental and respiratory problems, and cerebral pal-
Running Head: SEX EDUCATION 4

sy. Some lower risk problems in comparison that they are also at a greater risk for include hyper-

activity and dyslexia.

Financial and academic problems occur as a consequence of teen pregnancy not only for

the mother but for the government. Many teen mothers are unable to finish high school and less

than 2% of them earn a college degree before age 30. This makes it harder for them to find a

good job, and many teen mothers are forced to live in poverty. (CDC, 2015) As a result, they are

forced to rely on government assistance, and in 2004 it was released that $9.1 billion in taxpayers

money alone went to teen mothers. (study done by National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Preg-

nancy) Children born to teen mothers visit the doctor less often for numerous reasons, and re-

ceive less of the kind of cognitive stimulation in their early years that experts say is crucial for

brain development. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy reports that the children

of teen mothers, on average, do less well in school than other children, and are less likely to

graduate high school (Facts on file)

In an ideal world, all teens would wait until they were old enough to know that they were

with the right person before they make the decision to have sex. Unfortunately, this is just not a

realistic way of thinking and there needs to be safe sex education in all schools in order to pre-

vent STDS and teenage pregnancy. Its 2016, and teenagers have sex. Lets talk to them and edu-

cate them about safe sex rather than pretending it will not ever happen. Since the AIDs breakout

in the 1980s, condom use has increased due to the fear of getting it but the US still has the high-

est teen pregnancy rates of any other country. Lets keep talking to our kids in schools, so we can

stop this problem. To say sex education should be left to parents is not realistic, because many

things are left to parents that unfortunately are not taken care of. This does not need to be added
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to the list. Research clearly proves that abstinence only policies and not talking to children about

sex does not prevent pregnancy or STDs, but safe sex education and proper contraceptive teach-

ing does. After further researching on the pros and the cons of sex education in schools, I feel

even more confident in my stance of being in supportive of it. It seems to me like the clear an-

swer because of the amount of proof working in the favor of what sex education in schools has

done for teenage pregnancy rates and STD prevention.

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McKeon, Brigid. (2006) Retrieved from


Teen Pregnancy(6 July 2007) Retrieved from Issues and Controversies

Abstinence-Only Education (14 April 2014) Retrieved from Issues and Controversies

No-cost, long-acting contraception cuts teen pregnancy by 79 percent. (1 October 2014) Re-

trieved from Reuters. Issues & Controversies.

"American Teens' Sexual and Reproductive Health." (11 March 2015) Retrieved from American

Teens' Sexual and Reproductive Health

"Sexually Active Teens." (15 March 2015) Retrieved from Child Trends.

Wright, D. (24 January 2015) School-based Sex Education. AIDS Care, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p66. 4p.

Retrieved from EBSCO Academic Search Premier.

Prymface. The 10 Pros and Cons about Becoming Young Mother. Retrieved from The Tele-