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Sex Education In Schools Now Seems To Be More And More Of A Controversial Issue.

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People are arguing over what the curriculum should be in sex education, if it should be taught in schools or at home by parents and the main point of this paper if sex education is actually doing what it was set out to do. The idea behind this paper is to determine if sex education in schools really does keep down the amount of teens with STDÐŽ¦s or who become pregnant.

The definition of sex education according to SIECUS (2002) ÐŽ§Sexuality education is a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs, and values. It encompasses sexual development, reproductive health, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy, body image, and gender roles.ЎЁ Sex education discusses important aspects of reproduction, sexuality, and just growing up in general in a physical and emotional sense.

Onewould have to wonder though; does sex education actually serve its purpose? Does it enlighten teens enough about sex and the consequences, to the point where you can actually tell the difference between those who are sexually educated and those who are not? According to a study done bye Coyle (1999) sex education no matter where, at home or in school, and no matter the program does indeed help decrease the amount of teens having unsafe sex. Based on information from that same study about 3 million teenagers a year get an STD, and roughly 10% of adolescent females ages 15-19 get pregnant every year unintentionally. In an article from The Alan Guttmacher Institute (1999) there has been a 20% drop in female pregnancies between n 1990 and 1997 and the drop has continued, they have stated that the reason for this is potentially from abstinence, the rate of sexual activity going down, and contraceptive use. In an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics (2001) it is stated that primary and secondary prevention efforts are being correlated to the decrease in teens becoming pregnant and those with STDÐŽ¦s. So based on several different studies and articles sex education is helping, even if the rates waver at times the services that public schools are offering are helping.

From an article written by Dailard (2001) it was stated that in 1981 President Regan passed into law Adolescent Family Life Act which gave small sums of money to local government to use for sex education in schools, for them to promote ÐŽ§chastity and self-disciplineЎЁ. Ever since that act was passed it has constantly been debated if sex education should teach abstinence or safe sex. In the early ninetyÐŽ¦s almost $500 million went into teaching abstinence only. Despite what the government wanted teachers and other involved felt differently about what should be taught, they didnÐŽ¦t find it right to just teach abstinence. When a survey was conducted it was shown that most teachers taught abstinence as the primary choice but didnÐŽ¦t leave out the important basics of safe sex. What was taught was based on where in the country the program was, in the south abstinence was taught primarily as the only choice.

Teachers however were found to teach what they saw as more fit, which was abstinence was encouraged but safe sex was also taught and encouraged if the student didnÐŽ¦t choose abstinence.

Some teachers are now required to teach with this curriculum but arenÐŽ¦t always comfortable with it so they canÐŽ¦t be forced to teach the subject in a manor they donÐŽ¦t find appropriate. Also with laws being passed for sex education and abstinence being pushed parental opinions of course come into play. A lot of parents want abstinence to be taught as the primary method of birth control but safe sex is defiantly something they want taught to their children. So even now it is a debate over what should be taught in schools abstinence or safe sex, and who is it really up to, the parents, the teachers, or the ones who make the laws?

When speaking about parents it ties into another issue with teaching teens about sex, communication with parents. Parents often have a hard time communicating with their children about sex, they find it awkward, or just not an easy situation to approach. So a lot of teens education is reliant on the schools,



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