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U.S. sexual education fails to inform its youth

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It’s everywhere. On TV, billboards, phones, Ipods, computers and accessible through any technical device you can think of. We can read about it in newspapers and magazines. We can sometimes even hear it through the walls.

Sex.

But despite its pervasiveness, we really don’t know much about it.

Some are inclined to blame a “sexualized” culture for sexually related societal problems, such as teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. A ‘sexualized’ culture has nothing to do with our sexual societal problems. Rather, the problems lie within a sexual education system that is not only failing to educate young people, but is also harming society as a whole.

A 2012 report by Guttmacher Institute, an international organization that researches sexual and reproductive health and education, showed that there are two main approaches for teaching sexual education in the United States — ‘abstinence-only’ or comprehensive sexual education.

Abstinence-only sexual education teaches young people that abstaining from sex until marriage is the best means to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STD), the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and unwanted pregnancies. On the other hand, comprehensive sexual education does not only teach students the benefit of delaying sex until they are ready, but students are also taught how to protect themselves from STDs and pregnancies if they do decided to have sex.

Although the latter is more beneficial, neither of them are useful for providing an accurate view of sex and sexuality. We need to approach sexuality differently if we want to significantly decrease STD rates among young people and lower teen pregnancy.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, STDs among U.S. teens are much higher when compared with teens from Canada and Western Europe. A 2010 report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that nearly half of the 19 million new STDs each year affect young people aged 15 to 24 years old. Even though the number of STDs has declined, it still costs the U.S. health care system more than 17 billion dollars every year.

The United States also has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates of all the industrialized countries. Some states have higher rates than others — a 2011 report by The National Campaign to prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy illustrated that Mississippi, New Mexico and Arkansas have the highest teen birth rate among girls age 15-19, with over 5 births per 100 girls. These are the same states that provided a stricter abstinence-only education than other states.

With misinformation, teens will also continue to put their health at risk even though they are striving to do the opposite.

A 2012 CDC National Health Statistic Report states that younger people in sexual relationships with their opposite sex partner, are now having oral sex before their first vaginal intercourse to maintain virginity or avoid pregnancy or risk for STDs. But as this research indicates, they are still placing themselves at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI) or HIV before they are ever at risk of pregnancy.

In California, the birth rate has decreased to three births per 100 girls, but this rate could be lowered if we had better education. The 2003 California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Act had promised to reform sexual education in California’s high schools. However, legislators missed one significant point with this act: to make comprehensive sexual education a requirement. Public schools in California are not obligated to offer sex education — the law only mandates HIV/AIDS prevention education. However, if a school chooses to teach sex education, they need to follow specific laws regarding course content.

Two California mothers are currently filing a lawsuit against a Fresno County school district, claiming that students are misinformed and being denied critical instructions about sexual activity. The American Civil Liberties Union, who are representing the mothers, state that the Clover School District taught that “all people, even adults, should avoid sexual activity until they are married.” Other materials compare a woman who is not a virgin to a dirty shoe and suggest that men are unable to stop themselves once they become sexually aroused.”

Fresno county has the one of the highest teen pregnancy and STD cases in the state.

A failing sexual education system does not affect everyone equally. Despite the work the feminist movement has done since the 1960s, young teen girls are still deprived from self-knowledge and empowerment. According to a Guttmacher report published earlier this year, 41 percent of American teens aged 18 to 19 reported that they knew little or nothing about condoms and 75 percent said they knew little or nothing about the contraceptive pill.

Dr. Marie Cartier, a gender and women’s studies professor who teaches Feminist Ethics and Women as Agents of Change courses at CSUN, said that teaching women how their bodies work will not only encourage responsible sexuality, but also help to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

“I have seen way too many students for me to count who got in sexual situations that got over their head,” said Cartier. “Many of them haven’t had the basic mechanics of how they could get pregnant.”

At the same time, sex education should not only be focused on the issues of pregnancy and STD’s. It needs to include a much stronger emphasis on empowerment, respect and the importance of making wise decisions.

“You are walking around in a body and whether or not you decided to use that body sexually, you should have the information about how that body works,” said Cartier.

Without providing adequate exposure to the sexual realities that young people will face, we will continue to experience the aftershocks of unwanted pregnancy and STDs. At a certain point, we must respect our young people as truly adults in training if we ever desire for them to act accordingly.

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69 Comments

  1. Megan Lessa Oct 25, 2012

    Such an informative article. I’m still baffled by the fact that it is 2012 and yet there still exists the idea that abstinence-only education is substantial in preventing unwanted pregnancy and the transmittal of STIs. Even though we are armed with all the facts–that abstinence-only education fails us–controversy still exists. It makes one wonder what it really takes to shape policy that advocates for the safety and well-being of young women. Perhaps it is a sweeping cultural change around how we perceive sex that is necessary. 

  2. Danielle Latimer Oct 24, 2012

    This article was very interesting and informing.  I never would have thought of society have a lack in sexual education.  However when I think of all the pregnancies I see I notice that perhaps society does have a lack of education.  I know it appears in television a lot.  Although there is a lack I also think that it depends on people’s ages and understanding of sex as well.  For example when I was younger I watched a show called “Girlfriends” and that sdhow talked about sex a lot, however as a child the sexual jokes were over my head, but once I got older I noticed that the television sitcom talked about sex a lot.  I think at certain ages youth should be solidly educated about sex, and once that happens maybve society would see a decrease in pregnancies and STD’s. 

  3. Jessica Cordova Oct 24, 2012

    I really enjoyed reading this article and all the things Professor Cartier had to say. I agree that teaching the youth about contraceptives and condoms is a good thing because not everyone has the same religious beliefs to save themselves until marriage. Now many teenagers are having sex before high school and they do not know what are the risks of having sex at a young age, these kids should be informed about all the risks and schools should not try to hide the truth about sex.

  4. Jessica Cordova Oct 24, 2012

    I really enjoyed reading this article and all the things Professor Cartier had to say. I agree that teaching the youth about contraceptives and condoms is a good thing because not everyone has the same religious beliefs to save themselves until marriage. Now many teenagers are having sex before high school and they do not know what are the risks of having sex at a young age, these kids should be informed about all the risks and schools should not try to hide the truth about sex.

  5. JuanMunoz Oct 23, 2012

    Impressive article! I really liked the opener, grasped my attention right away. This articles has a lot of information that many people could benefit with reading. I couldn’t agree more when you say “the problems lie within a sexual education system that is not only failing to educate young people, but is also harming society as a whole.”, as i meet a lot of people who still aren’t fully educated on the subject.

    1. monaadem Oct 24, 2012

      I am glad you liked it…..

  6. Vanessa Mangin Oct 23, 2012

    This article provided helpful information as to the way sexual education affects teen pregnancies and STDs. I formerly didn’t think much of this connection, but the research provides information which may be helpful in solving the problem. I see your opinion for abstinence-only and comprehensive method approaches to sexual education as partly there or nothing. Either teens will be taught to abstain, which I think gives them excuses for teens to not have sex or allows them to get around teaching methods of protection, or they will only be taught about certain parts of sexual education, which doesn’t provide them with enough tools to be responsible and keep problems from arising. In this case, both prove to be ineffective in certain ways. Professor Cartier points out a proper solution to this gap in the problem in which people need to learn how their bodies work. If people are going to engage in sex, they at least need to take responsibilities for themselves and know their bodies.

    1. monaadem Oct 24, 2012

      Yes, Professor Cartier did point out a proper solution which I hope it is an approach sex education will more strongly embrace…

  7. Maricela_Rojas Oct 22, 2012

    “’You are walking around in a body and whether or not you decided to use that body sexually, you should have the information about how that body works,’ said Cartier.” I agree, young teenagers think, they are more grown up than their peers that they act sophisticated and acting like they know it all, but the truth is that they should get a sense of what sex education is. Young girl’s are mislead when a boy tells them, “I love you!, Don’t worry I will be with you forever if something happens.” Why take a risk, if young people would be informed what can be the consequences and the outcomes of teen pregnancies, std’s, and other problems having sex in an early age might bring, they will have a different mind set. Rather than to join the crowd. If the parents do not know how to speak to their children because it might be a sensitive topic for them, they should give the consent for educators to do so.

    1. monaadem Oct 24, 2012

      Yes I agree with you because if its too sensitive to be brought up in the home, then parent should give educators their consent. Otherwise, they are in many ways jeopardizing their children’s life by making them walk in this world unaware of their own body. 

  8. Ivette Coronado Oct 22, 2012

    When Dr. Marie Cartier said, “Teaching women how their bodies work will not only encourage responsible sexuality, but also help to prevent unwanted pregnancy,” I automatically agreed. With anything in life, the more informed you are, the better decision and opinion you will make, the topic goes well with this. I believe that schools should try to get a set program to educate students about sex and its possible consequences which include pregnancy and STD’s. I really enjoyed reading this article, it’s great to let people know of these rising issues.

    1. monaadem Oct 24, 2012

      Yes, I agree with you Ivette, knowledge is power and without it, the less informed citizens we become…

  9. jordanbabataher Oct 22, 2012

    I definitly feel that people need to have knowledge about sex, they should know what the risks are and how to prevent those risks. They should also be taught the pros and cons about have sex before marriage, not everyone has these religious beliefs about saving themselves. More and more people are having pre marital sex so people should know and be taught about it. However, as for your own sexuality, and empowerment and things of that nature i think thats more of a conversation to be had at home. There are things that do not need to be out there and said in a classroom. sex in my opinion is a private matter between you and your partner not between you and the class

    1. monaadem Oct 24, 2012

      I can see where you are coming from Jordan , but if we don’t talk about empowerment and the like  while talking about sex in the classroom, how can we teach young people about their own body. After all, sex and sexuality is more than just having sex…Its about understanding oneself both spiritually and physically as well as understanding others….

  10. Bianca Macaluso Oct 22, 2012

    I really enjoyed reading this article and what Professor Cartier had to say. I do agree that treating/teaching the youth as if they were adults would give them more insight on contraceptives and therefore prevent unwanted pregnancies. Instead of hiding the truth about sex, we should be informing those who are unknowledgeable about it.  

    1. monaadem Oct 24, 2012

      Could not agree with you more Bianca….

  11. Jeanette Montelongo Oct 21, 2012

     I agree with what Dr. Marie Cartier said “teaching women how their
    bodies work will not only encourage responsible sexuality, but also help
    to prevent unwanted pregnancy.” I was one of those that didn’t learn
    about sex until I was 17 in high school. It was taught to me in sex ed
    which mostly focused on how to prevent pregnancy but did not emphasize
    on how the body works. The teacher did not talk about the body or how to
    remain healthy or how a person can become at risk of a disease(s). I
    believe that sex ed and health need to be taught at a young age. Not in
    high school but in early junior high school. Kids need to learn how to
    take care of their bodies before hormones kick in and body development
    begins.

  12. Jeanette Montelongo Oct 21, 2012

    I agree with what Dr. Marie Cartier said “teaching women how their bodies work will not only encourage responsible sexuality, but also help to prevent unwanted pregnancy.” I was one of those that didn’t learn about sex until I was 17 in high school. It was taught to me in sex ed which mostly focused on how to prevent pregnancy but did not emphasize on how the body works. The teacher did not talk about the body or how to remain healthy or how a person can become at risk of a disease(s). I believe that sex ed and health need to be taught at a young age. Not in high school but in early junior high school. Kids need to learn how to take care of their bodies before hormones kick in and body development begins.

    1. monaadem Oct 24, 2012

      Unfortunately, your story is not unique Jeanette. Some sex education simply focuses on how to prevent pregnancies( which is good), but not discussing the topic in depth. We need to learn how to embrace and discuss sex as an integrated part of the human experience….

  13. Jacqueline Conti Oct 21, 2012

    This article is completely right. Schools today don’t teach enough about sex education. Teachers allow the embarrassment to stop them from teaching the students everything and in the end the students suffer later on.  I do believe that parents need to do more as well.  I think today parents depend on the schools to teach their children everything.  Schools and parents are supposed to share the teaching duties.  It’s a cooperative relationship.

  14. Jacqueline Conti Oct 21, 2012

    This article is completely right. Schools today don’t teach enough about sex education. Teachers allow the embarrassment to stop them from teaching the students everything and in the end the students suffer later on.  I do believe that parents need to do more as well.  I think today parents depend on the schools to teach their children everything.  Schools and parents are supposed to share the teaching duties.  It’s a cooperative relationship.

    1. monaadem Oct 24, 2012

      I agree. I also feel that parents should also take responsibility when it comes to educating their children about sex. After all, parents are those we should always be able to turn to when education cant answer questions you might have or don’t feel comfortable enough to ask in the classroom. 

  15. breanne Oct 21, 2012

    Comprehensive sex education is argued on the grounds of morality. Religiouse conservatives believe that teaching young adults and teenagers about their bodies and safe sex will encourage immoral sexual behavior such as, promiscuity, prostitution and homosexuality.

    Is it not immoral to deny young people access to the best, safest and most current scientific information regarding the natural processes of their bodies? Morallity is not keeping our young people in fear and naive to their body’s natural function, but rather imparting practical information that will allow them to make responsible and educated decisions.

    Assuming that teenagers will stay abstinent because they do not receive education on safe sex is an irresponsible and dangerous social practice. Do they really believe that telling teenagers to remain suxually inactive will suppress their natural desires and the influences surrounding them every day in society?

    1. monaadem Oct 24, 2012

      Breanne, I agree on every single point you just made. It is absolutely immoral and a dangerous practice to deny people access to knowledge and information that could benefit their life…Not only will it hurt the individual, but also the society……

  16. Kaylynn Johnson Oct 21, 2012

    I agree with this article, our sexual education system is not very effective. I believe that this is a subject that should be given more attention, the right kind of attention. I agree with one of the previous comments about classes being taught at a young age when we are not even mature enough to fully understand it. I had a sexual education class in 7th grade and a general health class in 9th grade and thats it. I agree with the article in the fact that there should be, “A much stronger emphasis on empowerment, respect and the importance of making wise decisions.” Instead of teaching ‘abstinence-only,’ there should be education provided regarding what to do if you are put into situatuons where stuff may happen, while also teaching about birth control measures, and emotional repercussions.

    1. monaadem Oct 21, 2012

      Yes, it is very imperative that we need a stronger emphasis on empowerment and respect because self-knoweldge is needed so we can grow as human being….

  17. zoe reynolds Oct 20, 2012

    I’ve been educated in sex ed classes in high school, although with the immaturity and lack of concern that took place in the classroom, I’m sure not everyone was able to benefit from the lesson. I’m aware that it’s a sin to have sex before marriage, but married or not doesn’t mean you know the way your body works and the consequences that could come about if one is not knowledgable about their body or their partner’s body. I found it astounding that some people don’t know about condoms or contraceptives. I remember going into the gynocologist at 14 for a Gardisil shot and being educated from a doctor personally on sex and diseases. The popularity of teen pregnancies has resulted into a show to represent to others out there the struggles that can come about from having sex and the hardships that come along after. You would think that with this becoming such a hit show it would explain to teens that it’s hard to become a teen parent, not to make it a fad and go explore sexual situations with lack of knowledge. I think it’s also a parent’s duty to educate their children not just the schools duty.

    1. monaadem Oct 21, 2012

      I also believe that parents need to take responsibility and educate their children about sex. When the subject is brought up in the home, it will make the children comfortable to ask questions they might have, but are too ashamed to ask in class. 

  18. blesie2012 Oct 19, 2012

    The idea that sexual activity should be avoided until people are married
    should be changed.  Marriage should not be
    viewed as a key that’ll open the door to sexual activities. In my opinion,
    sexual activity should be avoided until people fully understand, accept and are
    ready to handle its consequences—this goes for teens and non-teens alike.  One should be responsible and knowledgeable enough
    before jumping into it.   I agree that a more comprehensive education should
    be given to teens with regards to sex. 
    And this should not just include abstinence, contraception, pregnancies
    and sexual diseases but also the responsibility that comes with it- to one’s
    self, the fetus, the family and society as a whole.  Young people nowadays should take into heart
    the sexual education programs available to them as these will help empower them
    to make better choices.  If these were
    available to our parents, our parents’ parents, probably the incidence of
    abuse, unwanted and multiple pregnancies as well as sexual diseases during
    their time would have been lesser and they could have had better, healthier and
    happier lives.   Media has been used to promote sexual activity,
    one way or the other, perhaps media should also be used, in addition to
    classrooms, to help educators spread the word.

    1. monaadem Oct 21, 2012

      I agree with you blesie, but the problem today is that the number one source young people turn to if they are curious about sex is actually the media. The internet or any other media outlet is far from reliable and young people are getting misinformed information about sex and sexuality…

  19. Cathie24 Oct 18, 2012

    This article had great information and I am glad that this subject was addressed. I actually have a friend who is currently training to be a sex educator for high school students. She will soon be going to different high schools and conducting 50 min workshops with the students. I asked her what she thought about the content that they are going to be teach the students. Her response was that she felt that the students would benefit a lot from a much more open dialogue about sex than what she has to teach them. I think it is a huge contradiction that in this country sex is every where and everything is sexualized to make a profit yet in many homes sex is such a taboo subject. If as a culture we give sex such a dirty and negative connotation that makes many parents avoid the topic with their children; sex ed in school needs to fill in this gap. This is not to say that parents don’t have the responsibility to have an open sex talk with their children, but many of them have probably never had that talk from their parents either and therefore might not even know how to approach the topic. It is very interesting to see that the rigid enforcement of abstinence-only sex education is correlated to high percentages of unwanted pregnancies and STDs. These numbers make it evident that abstinence-only education is not effective and that we really need rethink this method of sex education, which in my opinion is not at all educational. The Christian belief of saving your self until marriage should not be enforced on young adults. I think that all the different options should be shown to them and we should respect them as young adults to let them decided what to do. I also believe that a major component about sex education should also be teaching the students about their bodies. Another problem I have with sex education is that it is very heteronormative! We cannot assume that all of these young adults are heterosexual!

    1. monaadem Oct 21, 2012

      I am glad that you liked the article Cathie and I could not agree with you more when you said that “the problem with sex education is that is very heteronormative.” It is sad to see that we are still not able to include all sexualities in our education which only affects how people think about those who are different from themselves. When we continue to make young people believe that the only heterosexuality is the “normal and only way of living,” homophobia will still be prevalent in our society. 

    2. Lex Oct 29, 2012

      This article is so true and inspiring . I am proud that you are a woman and can actually say this with facts. I have always felt like the school system should require sex ed. Most people think its best to not speak of or about sex, but there is more damage being done not speaking than to speak on it.

  20. sweetangel94 Oct 17, 2012

    I agree.  I attended a sexual education class when I was in 7th grade, and that was literally the only sex-related class I ever attended in school.  It’s really not enough, especially considering that almost NOTHING was really talked about, and most of the kids were not even mature enough to fully comprehend it at that point.  It’s really such a horrible thing because keeping factual information from teens and pre-teens is so harmful… probably much more harmful than actually fully teaching all the facts to them, in plain English.

  21. Shelby222 Oct 17, 2012

    I was very pleased to see this issue finally being addressed as it deserves to. Teen pregnancy is most common then it has ever been before… they are even making shows about it. Sex education wont only educate and prevent these statistics from expanding but sex education will help build knowledge, after all KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. It’s important that women understand their bodies and how they work.. and for men to know the diseases they can transfer by lack of concern and laziness (condoms). Professor Cartier was spot on when she said “she had known students over the years that have gotten over their head” I have met many myself, so you ask yourself … could that have been prevented with some sexual education ? I believe so.

    1. monaadem Oct 21, 2012

      I also believe it can be preventable if we have a more comprehensive sexual education.  

  22. Shelby222 Oct 17, 2012

    What the hell !! I have responded TWICE 

  23. Shelby222 Oct 17, 2012

    I personally feel as well that teen pregnancy is a large problem in society today and sexual education would play a large role in decreasing the statistics. By education people on sex and sexual prevention we are lowing the statistics. Sex doesn’t need to be an ISSUE but has due to lack of knowledge. Its like the old saying “knowledge is power” … it is crucial for women to know about their bodies and how they work and its important for men to know about deceases that can be transmitted through lack of condoms and etc. This knowledge is out there. I loves professor Cartiers response ” when she said she knew many students that have gotten over their head at times”. I as well have known many and would like to limit that if possible. This is an issue that can no longer be ignored and I was happy to see someone addressing it. 

  24. Salmeen Andkhoy Oct 16, 2012

    I thought Dr Cartier’s comment was intriguing but also made sense on common levels. She said that “…teaching women how their bodies work will not only encourage responsible sexuality, but also help to prevent unwanted pregnancy”. It makes sense that if you tell teenage girls not to have sex until they’re ready doesn’t quite make the cut. Their fresh minds will only grow curiously until they end up making one, too many mistakes. 
    From what I’ve personally noticed, families whom are religious (despite what their religions are) majority of the time they successfully teach their teenagers the importance of marital sex only. I’ve also personally noticed psychological and emotional mistakes happen to teenage girls and guys who lack proper sexual education. As religious reasons are strong enough for most religious families, I still think it’s a shrewd “reverse psychology” method to provide proper sexual education in order to help reduce teenage pregnancies.

    1. monaadem Oct 21, 2012

      I also agree that it is a shrewd “reverse psychology” method which actually might increase rather than reducing teen pregnancy… 

  25. Katayoon Iravani Oct 16, 2012

    I really enjoyed reading this article because a couple friends and I were just talking about how teen pregnancies can be avoided in our society today. We really need to start using actual people who have gone through teen pregnancies and have the kids see how it changed their lives. Promoting “Sixteen and Pregnant” on MTV is only making it popular amongst kids because they think that publicity will be theirs. My opinion is that if we go to the schools and show what happened to the teens that got pregnant at such a young age or the ones that got a STD at a young age should come in and show the kids what happened to them. Most people are visual learners, and because of that, it might help the kids in our society today understand why SEX should be but on hold till they are mature enough to handle it or married.

    1. monaadem Oct 21, 2012

      I think your idea might actually be a great way to make people see how difficult it is to have children, especially when you are younger. And you are right, teen pregnancy show on MTV is actually glamorizing the issue which makes younger people believe that its not a big deal and when they also lack compherensive sexual education, mistakes are easily made. 

    2. melissah45 Oct 24, 2012

      i completely agree with you about what you had to say about Sixteen and Pregnant.  That’s why i hate that show and Teen Mom because half of all those girls can’t get their life together now that their pregnant.  I even feel like some girls are just getting pregnant so that they can get on the show and be famous.  I feel ashamed of them.

  26. Brittany Oct 15, 2012

    This article is very interesting.  I too believe that the birth rates could be lowered with education.  Sexual education is very important and it should be mandatory for schools.  People need to be educated and understand that sex doesn’t just mean pregnancy; sex can also means diseases which can lead to death.  Kids need to be more concerned with their health and safety and not just whether or not they will get pregnant.  If i was a mother, i too would be upset at the school who is giving instructions on how to have sex.  We are not trying to teach the children how to have sex, but rather the negative consequences that come from having sex.  I disagree that a woman who isn’t a virgin is a “dirty shoe”.  We are imperfect and some people aren’t as fortunate to be educated and make the proper choices.

    1. monaadem Oct 21, 2012

      I could not have said it better Brittany. It sad to see how many are affected by STD’s that is easily preventable once you have the knowledge of how to protect yourself. And you are absolute right when saying that women are not “dirty shoe” because they are not virgins. This is only another way to devalue women and their sexuality. 

  27. Brittany Oct 15, 2012

    This article is very interesting.  I too believe that the birth rates could be lowered with education.  Sexual education is very important and it should be mandatory for schools.  People need to be educated and understand that sex doesn’t just mean pregnancy; sex can also means diseases which can lead to death.  Kids need to be more concerned with their health and safety and not just whether or not they will get pregnant.  If i was a mother, i too would be upset at the school who is giving instructions on how to have sex.  We are not trying to teach the children how to have sex, but rather the negative consequences that come from having sex.  I disagree that a woman who isn’t a virgin is a “dirty shoe”.  We are imperfect and some people aren’t as fortunate to be educated and make the proper choices.

  28. Tamar Oct 15, 2012

     was a student of LAUSD from Kindergarten until my senior year at El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, CA. My classmates and I were informed of what changes to expect beginning in fifth grade. The boys and girls were split into two separate classrooms. We were educated specifically on what changes our gender would see and what the gender of the opposite sex would experience.

    In seventh grade we took a semester of sexual education. They stressed that abstinence was a 100% guaranteed form of birth control, as well as protection from an STD. But they did inform us of ways we could protect ourselves. 

    Then in High School we had several speakers come to different classes speaking about their experiences and how their sexual activity changed their lives forever, or how they chose to protect themselves, or wait until the time was just right. 

    One speaker that stood out the most was a women who spoke of her experience as a teenage mother. She then became a born again virgin, waiting for “the one”. The evening before her wedding to “the one” he confessed that he had genital herpes. He kept it a secret in fear of losing “his one”. She went through with the wedding, and of course now has genital herpes as well. She spoke of the pain it causes her on a monthly basis, etc. The last thing she did after telling us her story was having us promise to abstain from sex until marriage, and if we promised, she would give us a pin to wear symbolizing our abstinence.

    Throughout my experience in the SoCal schooling system, I learned of sex in a variety of ways. I do agree with the thoughts of this article. Educating me of ways to protect myself and what issues may arise if I were to partake in sexual activities is the most beneficial. Telling me to abstain from sex would most likely keep me wanting to experiment more, keep me uniformed of the potential dangers that come from sex, etc. 

    The courses I took prior to the visit from a guest speaker at my High School kept me knowledgeable and prepared for what I knew I would do. 

    1. monaadem Oct 21, 2012

      You seems to have had a good sex education Tamar which is how it should be… Its interesting to see that they started to teach you guys in the fifth grade about how your body will change and that you had a whole semester of sexual education in the seventh grade which is not very common. Some have told me that their school only spent one class teaching sex education, expecting that would be enough…

  29. Tamar Oct 15, 2012

    I was a student of LAUSD from Kindergarten until my senior year at El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, CA. My classmates and I were informed of what changes to expect beginning in fifth grade. The boys and girls were split into two separate classrooms. We were educated specifically on what changes our gender would see and what the gender of the opposite sex would experience.

    In seventh grade we took a semester of sexual education. They stressed that abstinence was a 100% guaranteed form of birth control, as well as protection from an STD. But they did inform us of ways we could protect ourselves. 

    Then in High School we had several speakers come to different classes speaking about their experiences and how their sexual activity changed their lives forever, or how they chose to protect themselves, or wait until the time was just right. 

    One speaker that stood out the most was a women who spoke of her experience as a teenage mother. She then became a born again virgin, waiting for “the one”. The evening before her wedding to “the one” he confessed that he had genital herpes. He kept it a secret in fear of losing “his one”. She went through with the wedding, and of course now has genital herpes as well. She spoke of the pain it causes her on a monthly basis, etc. The last thing she did after telling us her story was having us promise to abstain from sex until marriage, and if we promised, she would give us a pin to wear symbolizing our abstinence.

    Throughout my experience in the SoCal schooling system, I learned of sex in a variety of ways. I do agree with the thoughts of this article. Educating me of ways to protect myself and what issues may arise if I were to partake in sexual activities is the most beneficial. Telling me to abstain from sex would most likely keep me wanting to experiment more, keep me uniformed of the potential dangers that come from sex, etc. 

    The courses I took prior to the visit from a guest speaker at my High School kept me knowledgeable and prepared for what I knew I would do. 

  30. If they attend Harvard University they can get some “hands on” experience at “Incest Fest.”: http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=4421

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