Sex Education





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Just say no, or say nothing at all. Either live by the word of the Christian God, or live with disease and unsupportable families. In current abstinence-only sexual education, this is the choice the nation gives to young people about their private sexuality. Clear concise facts have given way to horrifying lectures of the fictional evils of sexual behavior that falls outside the lines drawn by the right wing and the Pope. These tactics do not educate and only damage adolescents and their budding sexuality. By perpetuating an archetype of sexual innocence they only accomplish a spreading of sexual ignorance. Comprehensive sexuality education in every school would end the inefficacy of abstinence until marriage programs and resolve the many sexual problems facing the youth of today.
The state of teenage sexuality in America right now is a dismal thought. Young people lack the most basic information, like how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. In a number of states it is illegal for educational professionals to give students such information. This leads to American youths being some of the most sexually uniformed in the modern world. These suffocating laws, designed by right wing radicals, prevent schools from addressing the topic even if it is in the best interest of the student. In a report by the respected American Health Consultants, Inc., it is said that,
"Among the seven in 10 public school districts that have a district wide policy to teach sexuality education, 86% of them require that abstinence be promoted as the preferred or only option for teens."

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Abstinence-only sex education forbids dissemination of any positive information about contraception, regardless of whether students are sexually active or at risk of pregnancy or disease. David Landry, senior research associate at the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York City tells, "What this is saying is that at least one-third of students are receiving information about contraception that is extraordinarily limited, where either discussion of contraception is barred altogether or the emphasis is on its ineffectiveness in preventing pregnancy and guarding against sexually transmitted diseases" (American). This concealment of data will only impair young people for whom it is difficult to find accurate information by conferring with either their parents or peers. Besides the problem of school districts skirting the issues of safe sex and pregnancy prevention, students are completely unaided in understanding the complexities of sexuality beyond mere intercourse, because these topics are considered too controversial, even though they are the topics most applicable to many students lives. "As many as one in two school programs do not discuss more controversial topics, such as abortion and sexual orientation, in their sex education curricula" (American). Adolescents need the whole story on sexuality; deleting all sections that could perchance, in the remotest context, affront someone, leaves unanswered questions and a nebulous comprehension of sexuality. Those who believe that teenagers need to know nothing more than what is currently taught should have a look at the latest research. In his research summary "The Necessity of Comprehensive Sexuality Education In The Schools" John P. Elia reports that teenagers recount that the sex education they have received in school is inadequate
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and "frequently at odds with what ... they want to know in terms of sexuality and relationships". Specifically, surveyed adolescents in Liana Clark\'s article "Beyond The Birds & The Bees: Talking To Teens About Sex" in Patient Care, say they want to know more about how to prevent AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (47%), how to use birth control (32%), where to get birth control (28%), and how girls get pregnant (22%). Lack of knowledge in these areas is evident not only in survey but also in medical research. Teenagers comprise the largest age group with STDs because they are largely ignorant about these diseases. Ferdinand M. De Leon, noted sexuality researcher explains that, "The first time many hear of chlamydia is when they learn they have it". No one can protect himself or herself from a threat they don\'t even recognize. In fact, some 31 percent of teen girls were completely unprotected the last time they had sex contributing to the 3 million teens (about 1 in 4 sexually experienced teens) that acquire an STD every year (Teen). Many of these STDs can