This is an editorial I wrote for Ed Rice's Editorial and Column Writing Class. I got an A on it - so I thought it was worth posting. P.S. I'll have more posts in two weeks once school is done.
Written By Nikky Raney
Abstinence only education is better than no sexual education at all - there are parents who argue that they should be teaching their children about sex and not the schools. Well, for those parents who neglected to give their children that information they don't need to worry - the nurse's office has many different flavored latex condoms and has lots of pamphlets about al kinds of sex. That's definitely the best way to go about sexual education.
There are public elementary schools and middle schools around the country that teach students about sexual education, but once the students reach the high school level many schools do not give any classes about sexual education.
Well, when students are only getting educated about sexual education before entering high school it isn't surprising that in a study done by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) it was reported that approximately 750,000 teen pregnancies occur each year; more than half end in abortion.
United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the developed world which is reported to be more than twice as in Canada. Along with this over nine million new sexually transmitted diseases occur among young adults and teens.
In 2006-2008 93 percent of teens aged 15-19 were taught about aids and 84 percent taught about abstinence, but one-third of the teens had not received any formal instruction about contraceptives - when people like Sarah Palin are pushing for abstinence only education it's no wonder that her daughter ended up as a statistic for teen pregnancies. Among teens aged 18-19 41 percent reported knowing little to nothing about condoms and 75 percent knew nothing about other contraceptives.
Sexual education isn't the same as schools teaching about evolution - sexual education is something that everyone needs to know about. It shouldn't be limited to learning the body parts and having worksheets where the student needs to label each part of the genitalia. It might be great to know where the epididymus is or the cowpers gland, but it would probably be a good thing to know what herpes is.
There are three federal programs for teens that are given a yearly budget in the millions, but there are still only 20 states that mandate sex education and only 12 mandate HIV education; there aren't many parents who can teach a child about aids in a way that is credible and comprehensive. There is evidence that young people who are educated about sex are less likely to feel pressured to have sex too soon and less likely to become sexually active.
Parents aren't going to be able to teach their kids about all the sexually transmitted diseases or about contraceptives, and with this explicit and obscene world there is no way to hide sex, because sex happens. Especially now more than ever as statistics have shown - sex is happening, and with shows on MTV like 16 and Pregnant it's surprising that more parents aren't trying to do more about it.