birth control education

Birth Control Education

The issue of birth control being taught and/or distributed in public schools is one worth debating. In biology and health classes students are educated in reproduction and sexuality, but not about such birth control methods such as condoms and birth control pills. While parents may touch briefly on the topic, some feel too embarrassed to discuss it with their children or deem it unnecessary. This is a very bad course of action because the world is now teaming with hormonally driven teenagers lacking vital information about personal safety. They have a longing to practice the oldest instinct that humans possess, which is to procreate. The schools have no reason to not be teaching the other, more important, half of sex education. This action makes as little sense as learning how to add, but not subtract. The city is only one of the many facing this problem in the face. It is a problem that knows no class, religion, or gender. If every community took it upon themselves to address this issue with youth, then they could eliminate a national problem.

It is easy to see that lack of knowledge concerning birth control is a sever problem facing today’s youth. While the teen pregnancy rate is far lower than it has been in the past, the number of teens infected by sexually transmitted diseases is on the rise. Half of sex education is not enough. Even though 98% of students get "sexuality education", 55% of them still have questions concerning birth control methods, the prevention of STDs, and how to purchase protection confidentially. The challenge of STD prevention in the United States is clearly illustrated by the fact that 85% of the most common infectious diseases in the U.S.A. are spread sexually. This is the highest out of all the industrialized nations in the world. Why, in the U.S. the rates of infection are 50- 100 times greater than in any other of the industrialized nation. A friend of mine, whom we will call Miss. Q for confidentiality reasons, is a product of this backwards teaching. Miss. Q is a freshman in college, and was visiting home for thanksgiving this past year. While reading an article in a woman’s magazine regarding birth control she crossed a term she did not recognize. It turned out to be a term for a method of birth control, which she found out when she asked her mother, who was horrified to discover her 19-year-old daughter, had never been exposed to the word before. Miss. Q’s mother assumed that her child was taught this either in biology or health class, so she had never bothered to discuss it with her. However, after this revelation she sat down with her daughter and had a long in depth talk about the topic.

Stories like this one can be heard all over the country. Even in towns that offer easy access to birth control to students, this problem plagues the community. Take St. Paul Minnesota for example. With a prescription/voucher from a doctor, a student can go pick up protection from a local free clinic. However, 80% of the male students and 30% of the female students who receive such a prescription never go to pick them up. A recent survey in St. Paul discovered an alarming statistic that two out of every ten boys is or has been infected with chlamydia. In fact, teens 15-19 years old accounted for 41% of chlamydia cases and 32% of gonorrhea cases in Ramsey County Minnesota.

Nothing can show us this problem better than a survey from 1995 of 15-24 year old women asked about their use of contraceptives. It was shown that only 37.3% used birth control on a regular basis. In addition to this, only 4.4% regularly used protection against STDs. Another survey from 1990 of women of all ages in this country reported that while 70.7% used protection, only 7.9% used birth control that also protected against STDs.

The major reason birth control is not taught in this school district is because nobody has thought of bringing up the question for many years. The last time the policy of sex education was brought up; there was an overwhelming sense of disapproval from the community. Some parents were even caught making comments