Sex education needs to be taught in school

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Sex education is still not being taught at most schools in America. We are taught about puberty in elementary school, then taught in high school how to take care of a baby. I think there’s a step or two that we are missing in between those two things.

I believe that sex education is important and should be taught to students in high school so teens are aware of how to have safe sex. Sex education is not only to learn how to have safe sex, but to also be knowlegeable enought to take care of students’ health, so teenagers know what is normal and what is not.

This is a huge issue because, although teen pregnancy rates have been decreasing since 2009, the rates are still significant enough to raise attention. According to GuttMacher, a research orgainzation that studies reproductive health, pregnancy rates in the U.S. are around 18.7 for every 1000 girls between the ages of 15-19, and out of those pregnancies 75% are unplanned.

Teen mothers, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, are less likely to graduate high school and because they did not get their education, it is also less likely for them to receive a well paying job which increases the chances of these new families to be financially unstable.

Sadly, this is not the only problem. The rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or infections (STI) are at an all time high, with 2.5 million cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in 2018.

Not only does it affect the mother, but if the mother has syphilis by the time their baby is born, the baby can contract syphilis during birth which leads the baby to have life long complications, according to WebMD.

To make matters worse, most STDs do not have symptoms and it leaves people unaware that they might these diseases when they are not getting tested regularly. If teenagers were to be educated on the importance of getting tested, students would be able to know if they had transmitted or received a STD.

A more comprehensive sex education program could also teach students about other forms of birth control such as pills, intrauterine devices (IUD) and many other ways to take care of their own health. Devices such as these forms of birth control can help women protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy.

Also, if sex education were to be taught and explained, it could also touch on topics like consent. It would teach students about what is safe and okay for sex.

Some may argue that sex education and consent is a topic to be taught between parent sand their students. However, what about the students who do not necessarily have strong parental figures in their lives? They will not be taught sex education at school or at home.

Being able to learn these things about your own body can really be important and can teach you important lessons, especially when students are going through puberty. It can teach students lessons like what to do if they think that they have contracted a STD.

Leaving parents, who may not be fully educated on the subject, to teach this information to their child can might leave the child with not enough information or incorrect information. Allowing parents to educate their children on this topic might seem like the best option to some, but realistically it could just continue to spread misconceptions or falsehoods about safe sex practices.

It would be more beneficial for the schools to teach this as a required curriculum that is medically accurate, so that students can learn correct information and enough information to assist themselves when they become adults.

Some might say that to teach sex education, it will encourage students to have sex. However VeryWellHealth says otherwise, that when schools supplied condoms to the students, it did not increase promiscuousness in the students.

To me, abstinence is not a way to teach kids, because as previously mentioned, there are still many  teenage pregnancies and more than half of them are unwanted.

As of  2019, only 24 states in the U.S. require sex education. However, only eight of those states are required to be medically accurate and the rest are not required to be medically accurate, according to The 74 Million, an orgainzation covering education in the U.S.

This is obviously not enough if STD rates are still incredibly high. The way that these issues can be solved is by teaching sex education or at least a more in-depth sex education that is medically accurate. Just ignoring the problem will not make it go away.

Ideally the education system would require all 50 states to teach a medically accurate program. Those states who are teaching medically inaccurate education should be require to be required to be accurate.

Realistically, comprehensive sex education will still take its time making it to schools in Nebraska. The stigma surrounding it is still too strong to be implented into all schools anytime soon.  A way to fix these problems is to show support for those companies and associations that educate people accurately, like Planned Parenthood.

For my safety, as well as others, I believe that sex education should be in the required curriculum because it can prevent a lot of STDs from spreading or unplanned teenage pregnancies from happening.