Abstinence education should be taught in public schools

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PRO

By Karishma Warudkar

Contributor

Although in recent years the percentage of teenagers who are sexually active has gone down, the U.S. still has a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy than any other industrialized nation in the world.
According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, about 34 percent of young women in the U.S. become pregnant at least once before age 20.
This unfortunate statistic can be attributed to the failure of sex education programs in public schools that teach young people about sex, pregnancy and the risks involved because they fail to teach them that not having sex is a realistic option.
Abstinence education should be added to sex education programs taught in public schools.
Most public schools have a sex education program intended to prepare young people for sex by arming them with the information to make responsible decisions about sex, contraceptives, STDs, and the potential mental and emotional effects.
However, many classes and school health centers freely distribute sex protection, telling the teenager, “We know you’re going to do it anyway, so be safe. Here’s a condom.”
This message completely negates the notion that kids should make responsible decisions, as it provides an easy and cheap way to have sex without much responsibility.
There are many types of sex education, but there are two viable options for U.S. public schools to teach.
The first and most popular is comprehensive sex education, which does not focus on advising children to abstain until marriage or adulthood.
It also doesn’t provide much information on the psychological effects of having sex on a teenager who is not mentally or emotionally prepared for intercourse. Rather, it focuses on informing children about contraceptives and birth control and where to obtain them.
The second type is abstinence-plus sex education, which teaches about the same aspects as a comprehensive program, but puts the focus on abstinence and addresses moral and psychological issues in a more detailed manner.
I checked my brother’s ninth-grade health textbook and it uses the comprehensive sex education program. Abstinence and its benefits are briefly mentioned in one lesson, while multiple units with many lessons are spent discussing birth control, contraceptives and where to get them.
Although some people may believe the abstinence-plus education program is ineffective, statistics show that such programs reduce the percentage of sexually active teenagers significantly.
Georgia adopted abstinence-plus education as a statewide policy in 1995 and since then the teen pregnancy rate has dropped 46 percent.
The steepest declines occurred when abstinence-plus education was most highly funded indicating abstinence education can indeed make a difference in an adolescent’s decisions about sex.
Although the argument has been made that many studies show comprehensive sex education programs do not lead to earlier onset of sexual activity, it is equally true that under abstinence-plus education, fewer numbers of teenagers are likely to become sexually active.
This shows  a simple change in curriculum can reduce the number of teenagers affected by pregnancy, STDs and the struggles with confusing emotions regarding sex such as guilt and confusion.
If you can save someone from such turmoil, wouldn’t you?

CON

By Kayla Martz

Contributor

Abstinence-plus education should not be taught in public schools.  The best protection for teenagers against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is a comprehensive sex education program in public schools.
Comprehensive sex education is a more widely used program in public schools and teaches students the importance of protecting themselves before and during sexual activity.
Adolescents learn that condoms and birth control are a much better strategy to combat teen pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases than simply teaching abstinence, which is taught in abstinence-plus education programs.
Regardless of which sex education program is taught, some teenagers will get pregnant, and some will get STDs.
However, the teens who do have sex will be more informed about ways to keep themselves safe, if they are taught a comprehensive sex education program than the abstinence-plus program.
Much of the abstinence-plus curriculum is grounded in religious beliefs, but Thomas Jefferson’s concept of the “wall of separation” between church and state should be applied here.
The religiously-based abstinence-plus education program is not appropriate for public schools.
Whereas the comprehensive program has more safety advice and contains  a more detailed plan to help teens protect themselves.
Even though the abstinence plus program covers the use of sex protection, it can confuse teenagers who are trying to learn and follow the guidelines.
I recall the comprehensive sex education program from my ninth-grade health class and it confused me, and many of my peers, because the class could tell the teacher clearly favored abstinence.
When both of these concepts are taught together, many safety issues may become  obscured, which discourages adolescents from taking any precaution at all.
Following a comprehensive sex education curriculum is also less discriminatory.
The abstinence-plus curriculum highlights abstinence and encourages young people not to have sex until marriage.  Yet, in most states, gay couples are not permitted to marry.  The comprehensive sex education program I was taught did not ignore the gay relationship, nor were other forms of intercourse left unexplained.
The abstinence-plus education program discriminates against alternative lifestyles and is therefore, not as helpful and educational.  A comprehensive sex education program is much more appropriate for public education.
Should parents, religious organizations and private schools wish to teach abstinence, this is perfectly acceptable.  However, abstinence-plus education is not the proper curriculum for public education.


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  • http://www.escortsmeet.com/ escorts

    I think parents have to get in there and broach these topics _before_ the school does. Our kids see so much sex and sexuality from the time they are involved in media, tv, the internet, video games, they all carry images about our sexuality. I also think parents need to be honest. So for example our kids started asking each other if they wanted a “Woody” because they had seen the ad for the burbon and cola drink. We had to be blunt and explain the context of the ad and why it was in appropriate to discuss giving ‘woodies’. Their response was “Ooooo, yucky!” and I haven’t heard the word since.

  • http://www.pessinlaw.com/lawyer-in-miami/ Lawyer in Miami

    Yes It should be taught in school at young age for young people to be educated … Abstinence education is great, in the Pilippines, it sets a moral … In the USA, sex education is taught in almost all public schools,

  • http://www.fertibella.com/get-pregnant/how-to-get-pregnant-fast.php How to Get Pregnant Fast

    Well i think it should be taught in public schools because of the simple fact that teenage girls get pregnant 2 fast! and they don’t know what is going on or don’t know what to do! Sex can cause pregnancy, different affections like HIV/AIDS, Herpes, etc. If teenagers decide to do so, then they should use protection!

  • Ydnacmd

    regardless of which type of program is “taught” in public schools, shouldn’t it be the parents’ job to teach at least a bit of what can happen if sex happens? In times past this would be easy everyone grew up watching livestock and adulthood happened at about 14 or 15(the middle ages for those who don’t know). Nowadays, parents are those that don’t know anything-for at least the last fifty years or so, earlier for earlier generations, because to the previous generation (parents) didn’t have sex-amazing that any of us are here.

    Frank, I don’t think you are wrong, “per se,” but who is teaching anything if there aren’t “state schools”?

  • Anonymous

    No, because we shouldn’t have state schools to begin with.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J4QMVD34ZSTUH4N6ILNCWHNDYQ ??

    I just saw on the news that according to a report from CDC, the number of gay people on the largest HIV dating site STDslove. com has reached 310,000. This site seems to be powered by plenty of fish and most of the gay people on it are sexy and good looking.

    Personally, I have no objection to gay marriage. My concern is that more and more gay men get STDs. It seems that gay men is easier to get an STD and they even don’t know when they have it.

  • Anonymous

    Have an STD? There are over 70 million people at Hdating.net the same as you. It’s common to feel guilty or ashamed when you are diagnosed with H+. You may feel that your sex life is ruined or that someone you thought you could trust has hurt you. You may feel sad or upset. Keep in mind that you are one of millions of people who have it. You’re Not Alone.

  • Jacob

    Awesome debate topic!