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Sex Education in High School Sample Essay
The Importance of Sex Education in High School
Sex education covers a broad area about the sexuality of human beings. Among the areas covered by sex education are reproduction, anatomy, reproductive health, sexual intercourse, rights, and responsibilities of reproduction, emotional relations, contraception, abstinence, and all the other facets of sexual behavior (Sex Education in America). Several avenues are available for providing sexual education among the young people. These can be through health providers, parents, as well as teachers. Sexual education is important and should be encouraged for it provides young people with tools for making the right decisions.
The debate about whether sexual education is necessary in schools has been going on for a while. It is important to note the cases of teenage pregnancies have on the rise in the US. Many young people especially high school students are sexually active. “Each year, U.S. teens experience as many as 850,000 pregnancies, and youth under age 25 experience about 9.1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs)” (Klein and Committee on Adolescence 282). It has also be note that more than 60% of US citizens are sexually active by the time they reach the age of 18 years (Sex Education in America).
This shows that it is important for the authorities to come up with ways of teaching the young people on making the best choices about their asexuality. However, the methods to be used have to focus on the best choices available when it comes to matters of sex. It is of paramount importance to note that the teenagers have to be fully involved when making the syllabus to be followed. Coming up with strategies such as No abstinence-only-until-marriage has played a significant role in helping the young people on making sound decisions on sexual matters (Coeyman 30).
It is imperative to acknowledge that sex education plays a critical role because the majority of the parents are shy and they are not able to teach their children sexual matters. This leaves teachers being the only other option where young people can access knowledge of sex. In most population parents who are ready to offer their children, sex education is at a low of 12% and this is not enough to keep the children safe (Klein and Committee on Adolescence 281). The most important thing is to determine the right age where a child needs sex education.
On the other hand, most parents are not close to their children and they are not able to see the changes that they are undergoing. Most parents view their children as just children until that time when one is pregnant or infected with a STI. These things take most parents by surprise because they are not aware that their children are active in sex. “For example; did you know that, even though it has been proven wrong over and over for many centuries, most people believe that pulling out before ejaculation is a good method of birth control?” (Gumerman, Jacknik and Sipko 480) However many parents do not know whether this is not an effective method of birth control and thus they may end up misleading their children.
Sex education is necessary in high schools if the right methods are used. Teenagers should be made to understand that sex is necessary. This plays a critical role in ensuring that the teenagers do not take it as a game (Coeyman 35). It has serious consequences and thus they should understand that absolute care should be taken. This reduces the chances of unprotected sex and increases the chances of abstinence. Kids should be advised on the importance of waiting until one is married in order to enjoy sex with one partner.
Studies have shown that providing high school students with the right information on the usage of condoms and other contraceptives does not increase the probability of them engaging in sex earlier than it could have happened if they were not taught it. However, this plays a critical role since it ensures that if they have to engage in sex they will practice safe sex. Moreover, it increases the chances of practicing safe sex as adults. This increases the probability of having the teenagers turning out as responsible adults because they know many facts about sex. This can be attributed to the fact that “Appropriate sexual education can have an impact on preventing sexual problems in adulthood” (Sex Education in America).
Sex education is important because it provides teenagers with the right terminologies of sexual organs as opposed to the street terms. It also gives facts about sex and clears most of the myths that surround sexuality. For example, many young people believe that one cannot become pregnant for engaging in sex for the first time. This and many more other myths need clarification, which can be given by professional teachers in schools (Sex Education in America).
Despite all the advantages given for the necessity of sex education in high schools, there are some disadvantages. Sex education may be embarrassing to some students. Some students will not be comfortable when discussing sexual matters with members of the opposite sex. This creates an environment of uneasiness, which will not be good for the students. In addition, the discussions may bring out excitement in the students that may result in giggling and making out of place remarks while in class (Coeyman 33).
It is important to note that most of these lessons are taught in between other lessons. This means that they are allocated very little time and thus there is not enough time to cover the topic. Sexuality is a serious matter that requires enough time for it to be tackled appropriately.
More often than not, sexual education may not be in accordance with ones cultural and religious. Some religion do not allow the discussion of sexual matters between people who are not married and this places some students in awkward positions because they do not know what to say during sex education classes. Additionally some cultural beliefs take sexual discussions as a taboo, which must be avoided. For example in some African cultures, a girl should discuss her sexuality with her close female relatives (Coeyman 35). Such a person will feel out of place if she has to discus the subject openly with the teacher and her peers.
Since sex education is not graded, it makes many students to view it as recreational class. Sex, being a serious issue is not given the seriousness it deserves. It is because of this that students do not take it seriously but they view it as a lesson for passing time. On the other hand, most of the teachers who are allocated the role of providing sexual education are not qualified and as a result are not in a position to offer the much-needed knowledge. This implies that at sometimes teachers, because of lack of training may mix facts with what they believe to be right. This leaves the students in a confused status for they do not get the facts straight (Sex Education in America).
Religious leaders, educators, and parents play a critical role on what will be taught in schools regarding sexual matters. This implies that what has to be taught in school varies from one state to the other because of the beliefs that are held by the parents and the community at large in a particular state. This will translate to a situation whereby the syllabus to be taught is not uniform across all the schools. Since all the children are equal and have equal rights, they ought to be given the same lessons throughout a country but this is not attainable in sex education.
Despite the disadvantages associated with sex education in high schools it should not be dropped since it is very important. In order to overcome obstacles that are associated with the subject, all the stakeholders should play a leading role in ensuring that high school students do get the best. It has been noted that majority of high school students are sexually active, so pretending that they are innocent will just jeopardize their health.
Coeyman notes that some students are afraid of sexual education but others believe that sexual education “graphic, practical information about contraceptives, presented with the casual expectation that these are things every teen needs to know” (30). This shows that the approach used by the teachers is important for the students to feel at ease with the subject. With the right approach, all the students will take sexual education like any other subject and they will be able to learn while at ease.
Active sex has many unpleasant consequences, which are preventable if the right measures are taken. Prevention is better than cure so adequate measures have to be put in place to ensure that students differentiate between facts and myths. Some people believe that family planning pills help in the prevention of STIs, which is a myth. This means that some female students who are on these pills may be misled to believe that they cannot catch STIs. This leaves most students confused and they do not know whom to believe or trust (Klein & Committee on Adolescence 283). In order to do away with problems such as this, it is important to have qualified professionals as teachers for sex education.
Conflicts between beliefs (cultural and religious), is an impediment to the implementation of sexual education in schools. In order to overcome this obstacle, planning of what is to be taught in schools should involve all the concerned parties. Parents, teachers, students, religious leaders, and the community at large should be actively involved in determining the best for the students. This way conflicts if interest will be reduced and every one will be at ease with sex education (Coeyman 40).
Many boys believe that they are not responsible for their sexual acts particularly when it results in pregnancy. On the other hand, girls know that they can abort at any time if they become pregnant. Sexual education teachers should provide all the needed information regarding this subject. For example, young people are not aware of the dangers that are associated with abortion. With the right information, if a student cannot abstain, then most likely s/he will practice safe sex ((Klein & Committee on Adolescence 284). In addition, sex education should be graded in order to make sure that the students take it seriously. This will ensure that students do not take as something for passing time.
It is essential to acknowledge the importance of sex education in high schools because at this age, most young people are adventurous and they want to try all the unknowns. Students need to know all the facts about their sexuality for it will help them in making wise decisions. Even though sex education does not reduce the chances of sexual activities in students, it helps them to know what the best thing to do is. Moreover, students learn about safe sex when they are young and this is carried on to adult hood. Sex education should be encouraged in schools and supported by all the stakeholders in order to make it successful.