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Sydney Dixon
Professor Vyvial
English 1302
29 March 2017
Sex Education Important Side Effects
Sex education is a debate that has been going on since the beginning of time, especially

whether schools should have these programs within in their education. In today’s culture, sex

education is frowned upon in many states including Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas,

while others such as New Jersey and Vermont are okay with the classes. Sex education is a class

that teaches about contraception and abstinence. The sex education classes have positive effects

on the teenage population, including reduction of teen pregnancy, the teaching of safe sex, and

educational attainment.
The parents of the new generation are falling younger and younger due to failed

teachings. In 2014, 24.2 out of 1000 women between the age of 15-19 had children which is a

total of 249,078 babies born (CDC). Teen pregnancy is a result of stupid choices, and the

unprepared mind of teenagers run by hormones. Out of all teen pregnancy, the percentage “that

are unintended is estimated at 78%” (Colabianchi). This leaves 22% intended for women “under

the age of 20” (Colabianchi). Most teen mothers who have children “almost always suffer from

poverty” (Teen Pregnancy Prevention). However, there has been a decline in the pregnancy rate,

and that is believed to be because of the sex education programs put into place for teenagers.

These classes were placed to help inform teenagers of the consequences of their choices and how

to make better ones. Although the classes are set up to help lower the rate of pregnancy, the

government still finds sex education as a conventional topic. This has become one of the longest

and biggest debates in the United States because the government do not know what to do on

“what teen should be taught about sexuality” (Teen Pregnancy Prevention.) Also, the question

arises, “Should they receive the message that abstinence from sex is the only acceptable choice?
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Or, should they receive objective information about pregnancy and birth control, with no values

attached? Or, should they be presented with something in between” (Teen Pregnancy

Prevention)? These are the big questions that the government still faces in the race to lower teen

pregnancies. However, most schools that have sex education are required to only teach

abstinence and not contraception. What most teenagers should learn about is safe sex now if they

know what that means is another story.
Safe sex is the act of protecting oneself against sexually transmitted infections when

sexual intercourse or other consensual activities are conducted. This is not the same thing as

contraception that prevents pregnancies. Safe sex is a part of the sex education class discussions

because it talks about the use of protective devices. This allows teenagers to hear what can be

used to protect themselves and their sexual partners. Sex education does include preventing STIs

and anything else that comes with being sexually active. Safe sex is about learning how to use

proper protection and using it correctly, which teenagers need because there are more people

who use a condom wrong then the world lets on. The different types of protection include male

and female condoms, dental dams original used for dentistry, nonpenetrative sex and finally

abstinence. These are different types of preventions and each used differently with different

types. The male condoms come in “latex, polyisoprene, sheep intestines” which each have their

own level of protection from STIs, with different styles, as “lubricated, ribbed or studded” on the

outside which does nothing but entertain the partner (Frey). Also, female condoms were made

from “polyurethane” but now “nitrile” (Frey). Dental dams originally were constructed for dental

offices and from “thin squares of latex rubber” and “silicone dams” (Frey). Of course, safe sex

teaches nonpenetrative sex and abstinence since that is the best way to prevent any form of

disease. Sex education can inform teenagers in their protection options because most do not

realize there is more than just the male condoms, nonpenetrative sex, and abstinence. Safe sex is
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important in the lives of anyone because they cover more the just products to protect yourself

and partner. Safe sex topics associated with practices and precautions are “avoidance of drug and

alcohol use, careful selection of partners, limiting the number of partners, periodic testing of

STIs, immunization against STIs, and clear communication between partners before sexual

activity” (Frey). Sex education would be excellent in getting out the information need on

protecting the people who become sexually active and how their choices impact them.
Education is an important part of life, which is why the youth is sent to school. However,

dropout rates are high possibility within high school students and even higher from teen parents.

Teen pregnancy who have a “10-12% less likely to complete high school” have declined due “to

increased access to education, increased use of contraceptives, and delayed initiation of sexual

intercourse” (Basch). Although, the ones that stay in school have “major obstacles to academic

achievement and substantially exacerbates the challenge of completing high school and going to

college” (Basch). Since there is an estimation of “48% of high school students have had sexual

intercourse” (Basch). With almost half of the high school student population getting involved in

sexual activities, sex education classes would help inform students on how to be smart and safe

about what they are doing. The “underlying behavioral risk” is “teen sexual behavior” which

accounts for teen pregnancies and STIs (Basch). The consequences from teens having sex

coupled with teen pregnancies and STIs is their educational involvement. Not all dropouts are

due to pregnancy, but the ones that due risk the infant’s education before it begins. Most of the

government has chosen to go abstinence-only-until-marriage in schools instead of holding sex

education. “These decisions should be informed by empirical data indicating the magnitude and

consequences of teen births and sexual activity among youth,” before choosing the abstinence

only instead of teaching about sexuality, although the sex education classes for school “deals not

with sexuality, but with aspirations” (Basch), in motivating these students to finish high school
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and go to a good college. Although, teen pregnancy is a many reason for teens educational

outcome, sex education classes could change any teenager’s outcome for their life.
This has been going on since the nineteenth century, when people were trying to figure

out if sex education should even be taught. “Sex education one of the most heated debates in the

American culture wars” (Rasmussen), this is becoming a classic argument in schools on whether

this class should be allowed or not in teenagers education pathway. Most programs that cover

any form of sex education is abstinence only and does not teach any type of contraception. That

is because majority of the programs are government funded which means they are taught with

what the government allows which is why programs about abstinence out number contraception

programs. “In 2005 and 2007 Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA)” tried to get “funds for

broadening sex education beyond abstinence-only programs” (Rasmussen). However,

“conservative opposition succeeded in blocking passage of the bill in the 110th Congress”, which

one again anything other than abstinence could not be taught (Rasmussen). In today’s society

“abstinence- plus programs…. remain widely popular” and “often use fear” to keep teens from

having any form sexual activities before marriage (Rasmussen). Abstinence only is taught in

almost “one-schools in America” which is “the only one that allows a state school system to

qualify for federal assistance” (Rasmussen). Although many states “declined federal funds in

order to teach comprehensive sex education” (Rasmussen). Although different states chose how

they go about teaching sex education that changes the percentage of teen pregnancy and STIs

contracted. Such as Texas is an abstinence only state and most the high schools in the state do not

even have a sex education course. In addition, Texas is ranked third on teen pregnancy of

teenagers from the age 15 to 19. While Vermont took the contraception sex education route and

they rank 49 in teen pregnancy. The difference is great in states that do abstinence and the ones

that do contraceptive sex educational courses. The United States has one of the highest teen
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pregnancy rate. Sex education courses not only decline the rate of teen pregnancy but also limit

the spread of STIs and motivate those who are having sexual intercourse to be safe and still stay

in school to have a better future. Majority of the parents of teenagers “favor comprehensive sex

education over abstinence-only programs” (Rasmussen). No matter what “sex education in the

schools remains a sensitive issue” in the public eye and will always be a debate on which style of

teaching is better for teenagers (Rasmussen). Sex education can help lower the consequence that

come from sexual activity but nothing is going to stop teenagers who want to participate in these

activities.
In conclusion, sex education is helpful in reducing the consequences of having sexual

relations and teaches students the importance of thinking with their heads and not their bodies.

Also, in how to safely protect themselves from the consequence of partaking in sexual activities.

Teen pregnancies rates are starting to lower along with the STIs contracted due to sex education

programs that are beginning to be put into place. With these classes, not only do students get the

chance to learn about having sex safely, but also why it is important to stay in school to help your

future. The teenage population is facing positive effects from sex education courses including the

reduction of teen pregnancies, teachings of safe sex, and educational attainment.

Works Cited
Basch, Charles E. "Teen Pregnancy and the Achievement Gap among Urban Minority Youth."

Journal of School Health, vol. 81, no. 10, Oct. 2011, pp. 614-618. EBSCOhost,

doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00635.x.
Colabianchi, Natalie, and Natalie Colabianchi. "Teen Pregnancy." Encyclopedia of Women's

Health, edited by Sana Loue, and Martha Sajatovic, Springer Science+Business Media,

2004. Credo Reference,

http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/sprwh/teen_pregnancy/0. Accessed 08

Mar 2017.1990s
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Doskoch, P. "Youth Have Healthier Sexual Outcomes If Their Sex Education Classes Discuss

Contraception." Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health, vol. 44, no. 4, Dec.

2012, p. 270. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1363/4427012.
Frey, Rebecca J. "Safe Sex." Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health, edited by Gale, 2013. Credo

Reference, http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/galegph/safe_sex/0. Accessed

08 Mar 2017.
Rasmussen, Claire E. "Sex Education." Culture Wars in America: An Encyclopedia of Issues,

Viewpoints, and Voices, edited by Roger Chapman, and James Ciment, Routledge, 2013.

Credo Reference,

http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/sharpecw/sex_education/0. Accessed 08

Mar 2017.
"Teen Pregnancy Prevention." Poverty and the Government in America: A Historical

Encyclopedia, Jyotsna Sreenivasan, ABC-CLIO, 2009. Credo Reference,

http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/abcpga/teen_pregnancy_prevention/0.

Accessed 08 Mar 2017.