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Teen Sexuality

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In the trials and tribulations of the awkward teen years, one thing that may be of high apprehension is sex. Though it is an extremely personal and touchy issue upon families, it should still be discussed and not avoided. Some feel differently, and for that many students learn about sex from school. However; as a personal issue, sex talks should stay within the confines of a home and should not be taught in schools.

In today's society, it is not uncommon to walk down the street and see young teens either pregnant or holding their baby. For years teen pregnancy has been a problem, and has been increasing. Is the reason why they are becoming pregnant is because they were uneducated on sex? Or is it that they were mislead into thinking that they were safe in having sex rather than being abstinent? Some answer yes to these questions and blame it on sex education is the schools (Bender). Many feel that sex education is beneficial in aiding in the decrease of teen pregnancies, when really this is false (Kilpatrick). Some sex education classes have been proven to be unconstructive and even encouraging to teenage sexual intercourse. In 1976, 60% percent of seniors took sex education in school. In 1985, 70% took sex education in school, and in that increase of students becoming educated, more than half of America's teens had had sex before they were 17 years old (Schlafly). Teen pregnancy rates right now are at an all time high, but the astonishing fact is that teen pregnancies were on a sharp decline before the sex education programs were instilled in schools all over the country (Turque). How can sex education be effective with numbers like this? This clearly shows how ineffective sex education is.

Even with sex education, more than one million teenage girls every year become pregnant, and more than half will be under 18. Every year more than 500,000 teen age girls have abortions (Schlafly). Unwed teen-age births rose a remarkable 200 percent between 1960 and 1980. And this great thing that supposedly helps our youth understand sex hasn't stopped the 40% of our 14 year old girls that will become pregnant by the age of 19 (Schlafly). These numbers and examples are what I believe to be an irrefutable reflection of the ineffectiveness of the sex education programs given in schools today.

Sex education seems more effective at convincing teens to avoid birth than to avoid pregnancy (Weed). The number of people participating in such sex education classes and school-based clinics have lower birthrates, but the impact on the abortion and total pregnancy rates were exactly opposite of the stated intentions of the program (Norment). For example, in 1971 that annual nation expenditure for these school-based clinics was $11 millions dollars, and 300,000 of their clients were teen-agers. By 1981, the number was $442 million and 1.5 million clients (Norment). In 1972, the pregnancy rate for 15-19 year olds was about 95 per 1,000. In 1981 the rate was 113 per 1,000 (Bender). In that time period when the size of teen population was changed so faintly, teen abortion rates went from 190,000 to 430,000 (Bender). Proof that these clinics have encouraged abortions rates can be seen in the evidence given, and also that sex education and school-based clinics are ineffective. They just don't help.

Another problem with teenagers is promiscuity. All teens want to experiment or have thought about it at one point or another and school-based clinics don't help. School based clinics should be opposed because by just being there, their presence encourages promiscuity by their implied invitations to "safe sex". While no one but the clinically insane would disagree that there is a need for teen pregnancy prevention for unmarried teens, there is also no denying that all the hard work at "education", school-based clinics, contraceptives and abortion accessibility have only increased the number of teens who now admit to experimenting with sex. The school-based clinics have their way of teaching "safe sex", but in the growing number of venereal diseases including herpes and teen pregnancies, it is obvious that all the tax dollars going towards the clinics and the education is not effective (Turque).




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