A Good Sex Education for All Teens
Many parents have a minimum age and/or lots of restrictions on their teenagers dating. This can often put a lot of pressure on those kids who want to date or who already are. Obviously some boundaries are necessary but they should feel minimally restrained when they decide to start dating. When teens start dating, it will be scary for parents but it will really help both parties. They learn what they might like or dislike when looking for a significant other as well as relationship skills. I understand why parents want to be over protective.
This is all scary for parents and maybe even teens themselves. That’s why sex ed is so important. During their lives, teens could experience pregnancy scares, sexually transmitted diseases, and even violence within the relationships. They need to be educated about these things so they can prevent them or learn how to react if it happens. It’s no secret that some students start becoming sexually active in high school. An organization called Advocates for Youth says that this amount is 46 percent in the United States.
Meaning almost half of U.S. high school students are sexually active. In terms of population, this is 9 million teenagers. Parents need to be aware of these numbers because even though their little Suzie would never, one of her friends might.
This is a scary thought for parents. However, it could be less frightening with sex ed. Think about all the things that will happen if kids were uneducated about sex. If one took their mind back to when they were 5 and used what they knew about sex back then. Hopefully at the age of 5 they were still innocent and didn’t know anything about sex yet. So if they didn’t know anything about sex, then they wouldn’t know of taking precautions like protection and contraceptives.
Uneducated teens can be as uninformed as a five year old. This could result in STDs, unplanned teen pregnancies, and with there being more unplanned pregnancies, there would be an increase in the rate of abortions. The United States had the highest adolescent birth rate in the world. According to the Office of Adolescent Health, there were over 232,000 births by females in the U.S. under the age of 20.
We don’t want teens that know as much as a five year old to be having kids. To prevent this, teens need to be taught in sex ed. Sex ed should be viewed as crucial in high schools. It also needs to be strong and effective. If schools have a sex ed program but the material isn’t being taught well, then what’s the point in a sex ed program at all? Only 24 states in the United States and the district of Columbia are required to teach a sex ed class in public schools.
Sex ed is getting stronger everyday, as it should be. It’s working, as sex ed gets better, so do the statistics. The goal of sex education is to target high school students and teach them the about sex. They should be learning about the consequences as well as what precautions to take. They should learn how and who to ask for help. But before they even learn about sex, they should learn about healthy relationships.
As well as relationship skills, students should learn about peer pressure. Peer pressure is extremely influential and is a large part of teenagers lives. With peer pressure, students may start to engage in sexually activity, become introduced in drugs and alcohol, or could develop some negative habit and behaviors. Sex education doesn’t just have to be about sex; it should include everything from sex to drugs to peer pressure. These kinds of things can help students from making bad decisions early on in high school.
If sex ed is strengthened, students can learn more about themselves and the world around them before they get themselves into trouble. One of the topics I remember learning about in my sex education, or health, class was the brain. I learned that while we are teenagers, the brain is still developing. It isn’t even fully developed in our early adulthood. The prefrontal cortex was very important in this topic.
It’s used to make decisions and plays a big role in evolving our personality. The prefrontal cortex is located in the frontal lobe of the brain, and the brain develops in a back to front pattern, the prefrontal cortex can take the most time to mature. These days, it isn’t easy for parents to let their teens start dating. It’s generally pretty scary and it can be hard to protect and trust teenagers. Having sexually educated teens will not only help teen pregnancy rates, teens themselves, but also parents.
It will be easier for parents to trust their teens if they are confident that their teens are well educated. But before any of this can happen, we need sex ed.