Sex Education in Schools Essay

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Sex Education in Schools Essay

Sex Education in Schools Essay Introduction

The issue of sex education in schools is one of the most debated topics in academics. It elicits different reactions from various groups. Some factions opine that school children have attained the right age to learn about sexuality. The importance of sex education’s starting age in school has created a conflict between parents who have kids. In other words, one group of parents feel that school children are too young to comprehend a subject that they do not need. However, children should learn the necessary information about sex education, even if they are young. Numerous surveys on the topic yield almost an equal share of parents supporting sex education in schools. At the same time, the other half opines that it should not be taught. The lack of consensus hinders policy development on the issue and thus leaving schools without a standardized approach to handle the matter. Therefore, creating a standardized approach is crucial for both children and parents; specifically, parents who have not supported sex education in schools discuss the not standardized content or images showing to their children. This paper will justify the need for school children to learn sex education and the impacts of sex education benefits that will help children build a safe and conscious relationship.

Historical Background

Sex education lessons started in the 20th century due to current disease risks. Also, the U.S. government wanted to protect its soldiers from several sex-related infectious diseases; these sex-related infectious diseases, most of the time, have a treatment for those who have been infected. However, during the 20th century, most of these infectious diseases have not been diagnosed. Without the definition of infectious diseases, hundred of people died from lack of information. After discovering the contagious diseases, soldiers and other individuals started to take lessons about sex-related infectious disease education. In other words, most of the time, individuals do not get infectious diseases if they are informed about the matter and using protection.

Moreover, 1919 – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Children’s Bureau releases a report suggesting sex education during school could have better-protected soldiers from STIs. The 1920s- Sex education is introduced in high schools. The 1930s- The U.S. Office of Education first publishes sex education materials and trains teachers. The 1930s-1940s: Human sexuality courses appear in colleges. 1964: Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) is founded. 1968 (Freeman, 2008). The U.S. Department of Education gives NYU a grant to develop graduate programs for training sex education teachers (“The CSE,” 2020). However, at the beginning of the 1970s, society started to protest the sex education policy because parents did not want sex education lessons in schools for their children. On the other hand, AIDS discovery releases a fear in society. There are several ways to get AIDS, and most of these ways were related to sex. AIDS is a dangerous disease for individuals because individuals who have AIDS most of the time die (Kenney, 1989). More specifically, AIDS has no treatment, which helps individuals to continue their lives. Also, AIDS risk made sex education lessons more valuable and necessary in schools.

Claim & Policy Change

The advent of digital technology has altered how people consume content. Today, over 90% of homes have access to the internet. Almost every household has a device that can be used to access the internet. Even in cases where one parent may be strict in censuring content that children can access, they will still get it from peers where parents are less careful. Also, children can learn the wrong information on the internet, especially for those who have a young age and curiosity. The digital era has thus made it difficult to control the contents that children can consume. In other words, the internet includes thousands of information about any topic, and the impacts of using the internet without any adult absence can create several sexual behavior disorders. More specifically, this implies that their peers and the internet teach children and thus risk being misinformed in the absence of an adult to guide them.

As Widman et al. noted, most teenagers indulge in risky sexual behaviors out of peer influence. In yet another 2011 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the media plays a vital role in modeling adolescents’ sexual behaviors. The study focused on the internet, social networking sites, cell phones, video games, and music. It was evident that there is a need for objective guidance to inform teenagers about responsible sexual behaviors. One of the significant statistics that justify the need for sexual education to be taught in school is that about 800,000 women aged 15-19 years get pregnant annually. Also, about 50% of diagnosed sexually transmitted infections are from children aged 15-24 years (Collins et al., n.d.). Therefore, the consistent justification that school children are not old enough to learn about sex education is refuted by the data on the number that is indulging in risky sexual behaviors. Also, the lack of information about sex can mislead children to get sex-related infectious diseases.

Support

In yet another study, Ragsdale et al. sought to assess the media influence on teens’ sexual expectations. In a cross-sectional study, the author sought to determine the most excellent information source and the most significant influence. The study found that media exposure to sexual content increased their health risk expectancies. The study noted that most school-going children get sexual information from peers who, in turn, get it from the media. This study pointed to a need to decide on the ideal channel through which information should be channeled.

Palmer echoed the same statement noting that the lack of sexual education among school-going children is even more disastrous for the LGBT community. The gap left by the deliberate omission as schools maintain that there is no need for teaching school-going children is soon filled with misinformation from the media. As a result, the children experience a high rate of infections and a high teenage pregnancy rate (Palmer). These are issues that could be avoided by only allowing sex education to be taught in schools. In other words, parents should let their children take sex education lessons. Parents should see the benefits of sex education because, during puberty, teenagers who have a bad experience with their partners can create psychological disorders or have to face ending the pregnancy or taking the child's responsibility during their young age.

Counterargument and Rebuttal

Most of the arguments on why sex education should not be taught in schools are based on the idea that students should get age-appropriate content. The assumption that students are not aware of the topic is false. Data on teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections point out that some school-going children are sexually active. In other instances, the position against teaching sex education is based on surveys conducted on the parents. In explaining their reasoning behind the decision, they noted that parents should have a right to decide how and when to teach their children about sex education.

Others opined that it is inappropriate for children. Whereas parents have a right to decide what is right for their children, the underlying question is whether they are accurate in this case. However, these reasons are far from the truth. Data suggest that the children being protected from inappropriate content are already consuming misconstrued ones from the media. Instead, the schools should take an opportunity to give them accurate information to reduce their indulgence in risky sexual behaviors based on misinformation from the internet and the media because children and teenagers are overexposing social media channels. The contents can be inappropriate for their age (. Valkenburg, Piotrowski, 2017). Building a sexual disorder can easily lead children and teenagers to hurt somebody else during their relationship.

Advocacy

There is a need for a policy on education to be based on scientific facts and figures rather than parents’ preferences. The reality is that these school-going children need sex education to guide them against misconceptions peddled on the media. The policy should be developed at the federal level to allow standardization and modulations based on the regional settings. Children from urban areas may be prone to adults’ contents as compared to rural areas. Also, parents need to get involved with their children’s sex education lessons. In other words, one can infer that supporting parents for their children’s sex education lessons will get good outcomes from the lessons (Wilbur, Cornelia, 1973).

Moreover, in the 21st century, parents have a hard time protecting their children from the inappropriate context that their children are exposing. Therefore, standardization and modulation settings are essential in helping children access accurate and trusted information during school. Also, standardization and modulations of the content will help children see the topic from the source of authorized teachers.

Sex Education in Schools Essay Conclusion

Sex education is one of the most debated issues in the realms of academics. It is a divisive issue, with roughly half the parents supporting it while the other half oppose it. Whereas age appropriateness is always raised in support of arguments against sex education, the reality is that these school-going children are already consuming the contents. In other words, they are at risk of being misinformed by inaccurate information available on the media. Thus guidance is needed from the teachers and peer education. Sex education ought to be given to students to lower the rate of risk of sexual behaviors. Also, parents who are supporting their children during sex education lessons will get good outcomes from it. More specifically, children are learning trusted information from the authorized sources on the topic. The importance of sex education is based on preventing sexual behaviors or creating awareness about the protection that can prevent both pregnancies and sex-related infectious diseases. Studies have shown that sex education benefits are essential for both children and teenagers. Also, these studies are based on examining sex education impacts or results in children or teenagers. Eventually, creating a standardized approach in sex education will help children to learn about the topic in more appropriate ways.

References

“Experiments in Sex Education.” Sex Goes to School: Girls and Sex Education before the 1960s, by SUSAN K. FREEMAN, University of Illinois Press, Urbana; Chicago, 2008, pp. 45–68. JSTOR.

Kenney, Asta M., et al. “Sex Education and AIDS Education in the Schools: What States and Large School Districts Are Doing.” Family Planning Perspectives, vol. 21, no. 2, 1989, pp. 56–64. JSTOR.

“MEDIA AND SEX.” Plugged In: How Media Attract and Affect Youth, by Patti M. Valkenburg and Jessica Taylor Piotrowski, Yale University Press, New Haven; London, 2017, pp. 158–174. JSTOR.

The CSE’s National Sex Ed Conference “Dec 8-11, 2020 “The History of Sex Education. (n.d.). Ragsdale, Kathleen, et al. “Development of Sexual Expectancies among Adolescents: Contributions by Parents, Peers and the Media.” The Journal of Sex Research, vol. 51, no. 5, 2013, pp. 551-560.

Widman, Laura, et al. “Adolescent Susceptibility to Peer Influence in Sexual Situations.” Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 58, no. 3, 2016, pp. 323-329.

Wilbur, Cornelia, and Robert Aug. “Sex Education.” The American Journal of Nursing, vol. 73, no. 1, 1973, pp. 88–91. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3422420. Accessed 10 June 2020.

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