I found an interesting issue brief at RH Reality Check and had some thoughts on it.
Sexuality education plays an important role for the young people in our community; it prevents them from catching sexually transmitted diseases, having to deal with an unplanned pregnancy, and confronting HIV/AIDS.
While most students in the US get some type of sex education between 7th and 12th grade, what the students are being taught is different, because of the abstinence-only education policy, which limits teacher’s efforts in informing their students about their bodies, and how to protect themselves. Many people recognize that most students are already having sex when sex education is being implemented in school.
The best thing way to get through to kids would be to talk about how to use condoms, the availability of contraceptives and the importance of getting seen by a doctor. From the RHRC brief:
In the U.S., proponents of abstinence-only-until-marriage education argue that abstinence be taught as the ONLY effective means of disease and pregnancy prevention. Further, they ONLY want the “harmful effects” of sex before marriage and contraceptive failure discussed. Conversely, proponents of a broad-based approach want abstinence taught, along with ALL the other ways to prevent unintended pregnancy, disease, and abortion. And they also want responsible decision-making, sexual orientation, and sexuality development included.
It is unethical to think that we as a community, a society, or government, can actually put an end to our youth engaging in sexual intercourse; but if we work together and teach our children how to protect themselves then we would have educated our youth and provided a slightly short percentage of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases around the world. Parents as well play a serious role in not only educating, but influencing their child’s decisions about early sexual involvement. It’s important for everyone to get involved and speak openly about educating our youth about sex.
Contributed by Dominique Diaz, Community Mobilization Intern