The Importance of Sex Education

by: Andrew Vuong

Sex Education in Texas

In Texas, schools are not required to even teach sex education. If a school decides to teach sex ed, they are required to stress abstinence-only and sex only while married. They are not allowed to discuss or hand out contraception unless discussing their "failure rates", they are not allowed to tell students to talk to family about sex, and the biggest shocker all the information presented does not need to be medically accurate.

Dropping Out

Although the national percentage of teen pregnancies have significantly dropped since the '90s, Texas is still among the top 5 states with the highest rates, about 35,063 in 2014. In my high school, teen pregnancy was one of the main reasons students dropped out. The lack of preventive school programs and community support lead many of these young girls to quit. I have had many discussions with my high school friends about the proper use of contraception and the consequences of sex because of their significant lack of knowledge. I have sat with and comforted many distressed friends as we waited for their pregnancy tests. The lack of an actual sex education program leaves students ignorant of the facts. It allows students to mistake consensual sex with nonconsensual sex. It closes any discussion with family members during a confusing time. It shames and humiliates students because of their burgeoning sexuality. The state of Texas' sex education program is failing its students, by not implementing any program to assist teen mothers or educating them at all on sexuality, students are left to fend on their own as they get older.

Comprehensive Sex Education

Our state's sex education practice is dated and ineffective which is why a comprehensive sexual education should be implemented. Studies have shown that a comprehensive sex-education that gives medically accurate information while still stressing abstinence is the best form of sex education. In my experience, it is nearly impossible to withhold the concept of sex from students because of their exposure to different medias and other students. So it is important to give them all the necessary information that they would need if they do decide to have sex. With the knowledge of how to properly use the different kinds of contraceptions available and ways to prevent STDs, STIs, unwanted pregnancies, and any other issues that can arise from sex, students are able to make informed decisions allowing them to grow, mature, and lead healthy lives. With the additional teaching of abstinence, it gives students a viable alternative to sex, allowing students to choose to "wait until marriage" without succumbing to any societal pressure to have sex.

Assistance Programs

When implementing a comprehensive sex education program, it is also important to create programs geared towards helping teen mothers stay in school and receive the necessary medical attention and resources to help them stay afloat. Even with knowledge on how to possibly prevent an unwanted pregnancy, sometimes life happens and you become pregnant. These assistance programs can help these mothers emotionally and physically. Finding support in these programs, can help the young mothers continue school and get an education which will help them in the future from facing the sad fate that many single young mothers face: poverty. It will also help end the cycle of teen pregnancies among students born from teen parents.

With the implementation of various assistance programs and a comprehensive sex education, we can lead the country into the future with a healthy mentality that sexuality is not something you should be ashamed of, creating intelligent and healthy citizens.

Resources

Sex Education in Texas: SecularTexas.org

Teen pregnancy rate: The National Campaign

Abstinence image: Flickr

Condom image: Pixabay

"Safe Sex" image: Pixabay