The physician Lyndsey Garbi is board-certified in both pediatrics and neonatology. She works as the head pediatrician at Blueberry Pediatrics in addition to being an assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.
Teaching children about sex is not an easy task. Children and adolescents need much more than a one-time conversation about the birds and the bees in this era of precocious preteens, teenage pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). Age-appropriate discussions on safer sex and preventing pregnancy need to be ongoing.
While it’s ideal for kids to get all the knowledge they need from their parents at home, the school should also serve as a significant information source. The failure of education focused only on abstinence has been repeatedly shown by research. Here are 10 arguments in favor of comprehensive sex education in the classroom.
Abstinence-Only Education Failed
The study has repeatedly demonstrated: Education focused only on abstinence has little impact on the proportion of youths who choose to have sex. Abstinence-only teaching is ineffective given that it is its main goal.
Admittedly, thorough sex education doesn’t stop youngsters from engaging in sexual activity either. It does, however, educate children on how to engage in risk-free sex.
Teens must be aware of safer alternatives.
Teenagers are denied the opportunity to learn about socially acceptable alternatives to abstinence, which is one of the main issues with abstinence-only teaching. This is a serious issue since it hasn’t been shown that any kind of sex education can successfully persuade youngsters to abstain from having sex.
Parents and teachers presumably want teenagers to be as healthy and content as they may be. Even if those teenagers are struggling to behave in a manner that adults would consider ideal, one would hope that would still be the case.
Sex Education Doesn’t Boost Sex
It doesn’t always rain just because you have a raincoat. Studies that claim abstinence-only education doesn’t prevent children from having sex have one positive finding. It is what? According to every other study, giving kids access to external condoms in schools—also known as “male” condoms because they cover a penis or sex object—does not encourage them to become more promiscuous.
Numerous studies conducted over the past 20 years have consistently shown that there are no negative effects to teaching comprehensive sex education in schools, contrary to what most people believe. In other words, offering external condoms in schools does not entice young people to engage in sex earlier or more frequently.
Teenagers do appear to be more inclined to use those external condoms when they would be having sex anyhow, though.
Teenage Sexual Activity Is 1 in 2
Many teenagers engage in sexual activity.
Approximately 41% of high school students engaged in sexual activity at least once in 2015, according to the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey, or YRBSS. Other discoveries
Additionally, one-fifth of sexually active high school students had used drugs or alcohol before their most recent sex.
Start and continue safely
According to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Public Health, adolescents who use external condoms from the very first time they engage in sexual activity perform better on several sexual health measures than adolescents who do not.
Over 4,000 teenagers were monitored by the researchers for an average of nearly seven years. They discovered that teenagers who used external condoms during their first sexual encounter had an equal number of partners as those who did not.
Additionally, they had a 30% higher likelihood of using an external condom during their most recent sexual encounter. Additionally, their chances of contracting gonorrhea and chlamydia were only half as high.
Develop Good Men in Boys
Getting the right medical care is a necessary part of staying healthy. Many boys stop seeking preventative healthcare as they get older. This reduces their access to screenings for STIs and other conditions.
According to a study published in Pediatrics, fathers who discuss sex with their sons are more likely to have boys who visit the doctor. It all comes down to leading by example.
Holding traditional views about masculinity is one of the biggest risk factors for not seeking care. Early on, young men must learn that one of the most “manly” things they can do is take care of their health.
Comprehensive sex education discourages kids from engaging in sexual activity. Good comprehensive programs instruct students that abstinence is the only surefire way to prevent pregnancy and STIs, just like abstinence-only programs do.
The distinction is that these programs also provide students with factual and realistic information about the safety of various sexual practices as well as strategies for increasing the chances.
Parents Instill Moral Principles
Comprehensive sex education does not preclude parents from teaching their children their moral standards. Letting them learn the facts in school frees parents to concentrate on describing their religious convictions and behavioral expectations.
“Know Means No”
Children are more likely to say “no” the more information they have. Teens are not naive. They are aware that they are being misled when a teacher claims that the only behavior that will shield them from the risks of STIs and pregnancy is abstinence. They are aware that they are being misled, at the very least.
Giving teenagers a realistic picture of the dangers associated with various sexual behaviors can aid them in making wise choices regarding sex.
Sex education programs that try to steer teenagers away from certain high-risk activities tend to be the most successful.
Alternatives to Vaginal Sex Come With Risks
What should teenagers do if they are not properly informed about the risks associated with sex? Instead of vaginal sex, they engage in oral or even anal sex. Many teenagers, in particular, do not view oral sex as conflicting with abstinence. Even though oral sex can spread several STIs, that is still true.
Sometimes, instruction that emphasizes abstinence from sex does so without ever defining sex for the students. Comprehensive sex education, on the other hand, may inspire teenagers to make more informed choices before engaging in alternative sexual behaviors.
Teenagers may mistakenly believe that those behaviors are safe if they lack sufficient information.