Sex Education is a controversial topic. For some, it’s as serious an issue as pregnancy. For other people, it’s more of a curiosity, such as when the teacher asks, “What was that song by the Phantom?” However, in our country, it’s still being debated. There are those who feel that the sexual information in the media has distorted our views on sex.
Sex education, as opposed to sex education, is not compulsory. In fact, twenty-nine states have made it illegal to withhold information about sex from the public. However, you don’t have to be a state to have it taught in your school. You can find materials on the Internet or your local library. The importance of sex education isn’t just to know what you should do; it’s also to know what you shouldn’t do.
What most parents don’t realize is that abstinence is not always the best course of action. It’s true that a lack of sexual experience can lead to a lack of sexual experience. However, many teens have become so used to having numerous opportunities for sexual experience that they’ve developed a sense of disappointment with “having sex” itself. When that happens, they are at risk for disease and unhealthy lifestyles.
Abstinence has other negative consequences. Young people who have stopped having sex can develop unhealthy relationships. They might date somebody who has an STD, for example, or they might get into regular partnerships with someone who has a sexually transmitted disease. In addition, young people who experience early sex education might not be aware of certain physical hazards. Teenagers are at greater risk for high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, depression and substance abuse.
Some teens decide to use their own power to “pass the buck” to others. They might feel uncomfortable about their sexual activity and they might feel that it is their responsibility to get someone to understand. That can be a dangerous way to behave. Teens who feel that they need to put down the blame for their own actions may find themselves in situations where they are being blamed, and that can lead to severe emotional problems as they grow older.
There is plenty of good information available about sex and sexual education. The problem lies with the fact that a lot of this information is being presented as a matter of fact by school teachers, clinics and other adults who know best. A middle-aged woman who has just had an abortion may present a completely different view of sex than does a pregnant teenage girl. These two girls may end up with very different and conflicting ideas about birth control, pregnancy and sexually safe behaviors.
What is sex education has to do with abstinence. If a teen has taken the time to receive some reliable sex education (along with the important information about the difference between abstinence and intercourse), then they should be able to make a decision about abstinence on their own. They don’t need anyone else’s moral or ethical judgment.
The problem is that some states are mandating that sexual information and education are part of the public school curriculum. That makes it very difficult for parents to get the correct information or to exercise their right to decide for themselves. They have a right to work at improving their kids’ sex education, but they don’t have a right to spend their time trying to persuade their children that sex is bad. That’s where parents who want to teach their children about sex should turn to the internet. There is a lot of very sound information available on how to provide accurate, balanced and truthful information about sex and fertility.