Proposal Argument on Sex Education in Schools (2)





Proposal Argument on Sex Education in Schools

The number of teenagers engaging in sexual activities is on the rise. Previously, some educational psychologists have argued that teaching teenagers sex education can result in early interest in sexual acts. In contrast, others have argued that teaching teenage sex education is an important cautionary measure that educates them on important aspects of sexual health. School authorities need to allow for sex education to be gradually introduced to their institutions due to the increased number of teenagers engaging in sexual activities and the number of teenagers with early pregnancy and sexual diseases. School authorities are better placed to introduce sex education programs in their institutions because teenagers spend most of their time in school. The school can help deal with communication gaps between guardians and teenagers, teenagers can improve their quality of life, and schools can create effective sexual educational programs. Early sex education is a tool and source of knowledge for teenagers and introducing early sex education can significantly reduce negative incidences associated with teenage sexual encounters.

Sex education programs are comprehensive sets of knowledge used in teaching students the emotional, social, and physical aspects of their sexuality. Sex education covers gender identity, sexual orientation, body image, puberty, contraceptives, menstruations, sexual activities, and violence prevention (Kantor et al, 7-8). Sex education helps students, most especially teenagers, understand the changes in their bodies while providing them with adequate information on sexual health, wellbeing, and individual rights over their bodies. For instance, teenagers are taught that they have the right to decide who can touch them and the subsequent actions they can take against people who touch them without consent. Sexual health and wellbeing involve knowledge of preventing diseases and other negative impacts of unprotected sexual encounters. Sexual education programs are crucial in informing teenagers about normal human development, promoting general health, and ensuring teenagers can maintain respectful sexual relationships.

Over the years, school-based programs designed to educate school-going children about sexual activities have been fashioned to promote abstinence and delay initial sexual explorations. Currently, most school-going children have access to the internet, and with it, a majority have been introduced to various sexual activities. It has resulted in an increase in sexually active teenagers. This problem warrants the introduction of safer-sex education programs that address current challenges witnessed in this internet age. The consequences of irresponsible sexual behavior among teenagers are dire. Teenagers that engage in unsafe sexual practices are at the risk of having early pregnancies and contracting sexually transmitted diseases. The cases of teenage pregnancies and rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the country are among the highest in all industrialized countries (Vidourek & Keith, 189-207). The country’s rates of teen abortions and the prevalence of AIDS witnessed in the country are also among the highest compared to European nations such as Germany, France, and the Netherlands. These factors are indicators that teenagers in the US are engaging in unsafe sexual activities at a younger age and higher rate than teenagers from other developed nations. These consequences are especially dire as they result in physical and mental health deterioration.

Teenagers spend a significant amount of their time in school. As a result, most people agree that schools play a critical role in imparting knowledge to children. As schools play an important role in educating teenagers, there is a need to introduce early sexual education programs. When introduced early, these programs can ensure that teenagers are well informed about various aspects of their sexual health from an early age. These programs also educate teenagers on safe-sex practices. While society and most parents would prefer that their children abstain from sexual activities, the introduction of safe-sex practices ensures that teenagers that have decided to engage in sexual activities do so in a manner that protects them from exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and physical harm (Short, 147-150). Overall, the early introduction of sexual education programs equips teenagers with the necessary information that can help them make informed decisions about their sexual health.

The introduction of early sexual education in schools helps fill informational gaps that teenagers lack. Most parents express high levels of discomfort at the thought of speaking to their children about sexual activities. The breakdown in communication on this topic results in teenagers creating their standard for sexual behavior. As the guardians of these teenagers are having a hard time teaching their children about sexual health, teenagers are more likely to source this information from their peers, resulting in negative adolescent peer norms. In instances where the guardians are willing to educate their teenagers on sexual health, the message is often negative. For instance, parents are more likely to emphasize abstinence and discourage engagement in sexual activity outside the context of marriage (Santelli et al., 72-81). As a result, this information is biased, and it is also incomplete as it does not tackle important topics such as contraception, the use of protection, and sexually contracted diseases. Moreover, when discussing sexual health, most teenagers prefer and understand information that has been relayed through instructional techniques such as role-play and open discussions. Furthermore, teenagers prefer components such as honesty and openness when learning about sexual education. As most parents are unable and unqualified to teach their teenagers about sexual health through these methods, introducing sex education programs in schools ensures that the problem of communication gap is solved.

Lastly, the introduction of sex education programs helps enhance the quality-of-life teenagers enjoy. Sex education imparts teenagers with an understanding of how choices can influence and affect their lives. Understanding one’s choices helps teenagers develop respectful sexual and social relationships (Braeken & Melissa, 50-62). Through these relationships, teenagers learn that physical attractions are normal, and people’s likes and dislikes vary. Teenagers also learn that relationships can be healthy or unhealthy and have the right to decide their sexual orientation. An understanding of rights and choices also helps teenagers deal with the harassment they might face due to their choices on their gender identity and sexual orientation.

Comprehensive sex education programs such as abstinence-plus education programs are the most effective forms of sexual education programs. These programs involve aspects of abstinence, contraception use, and protection use. These programs are created to focus on sexual behaviors. Focus on sexual behavior is important in reducing incidences of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancies. Abstinence-plus sexual education programs are also tailor-made based on theoretical approaches that have proven to correct and reduce risky behavior (Braeken & Melissa, 50-62). These theoretical approaches highlight the causal factors and indicators of risky behavior and highlight possible solutions that have proven to correct said behavior. These programs also enable instructors o provide teenagers with accurate and honest information about the consequences of various sexual activities. For instance, students are taught engaging in unprotected sex can result in early pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The use of accurate information acts as a deterrent against bad behavior. Other features that make using abstinence-plus approaches effective include lessons on dealing with social pressure. Teenagers are prone to social and peer pressure; hence teaching them ways of dealing with social pressures helps in character development.

Abstinence-plus approaches are effective because they utilize models that encourage teenagers to practice social skills. Skills such as communication, negotiations, and refusal enable teenagers to voice their concerns and queries. Other features that make abstinence-plus approaches effective include personalized information, culturally and developmentally appropriate goals, and qualified instructors to teach teenagers about sexual education (Barr et al., 396-415). Compared to other sex education programs, this approach is effective as it does not increase rates of sexual activity among teenagers, it does not increase the number of sexual partners teenagers have, and it does not result in teenagers engaging in sexual activities earlier.

Early sex education is an important source of knowledge on sexual health, and it helps reduce cases of negative sexual incidences among teenagers. The introduction of early school-based sexual education remains controversial; however, the recent increase in teenagers engaging and being exposed to sexual activities is proof that schools need to introduce sexual educational programs from early on. The early sex education programs introduced should focus on encouraging abstinence, but they should also focus on aspects of safe sex. The consequences of irresponsible activities include early pregnancy, exposure to sexually transmitted diseases, and negative psychological distress. As these consequences have irreversible impacts on the lives of teenagers, school leadership must offer comprehensive sexual education programs that best enable their students to make informed decisions on their sexual health.

Works Cited

Barr, Elissa M., et al. “Improving sexuality education: The development of teacher‐preparation standards.” Journal of school health 84.6 (2014): 396-415.

Braeken, Doortje, and Melissa Cardinal. “Comprehensive sexuality education as a means of promoting sexual health.” International Journal of Sexual Health 20.1-2 (2008): 50-62.

Kantor, Leslie M., et al. “Sex education: Broadening the Definition of Relevant outcomes.” Journal of Adolescent Health 68.1 (2021): 7-8.

Santelli, John, et al. “Abstinence and abstinence-only education: A review of US policies and programs.” Journal of Adolescent health 38.1 (2006): 72-81.

Short, R. “Teaching safe sex in school.” International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 63 (1998): S147-S150.

Vidourek, Rebecca A., and Keith A. King. “Preventing teen pregnancy among minority populations: Risk and protective factors.” Socio-cultural influences on teenage pregnancy and contemporary prevention measures. IGI Global, 2019. 189-207.