People often hear their parents and grandparents reminiscing about the golden past. They give examples of how things worked at the time whether it is regarding eating habits, manners or clothing. Most of all, one often hears people compare and contrast the teen culture of today with the past. Traditional thought holders frequently complain about teens receiving sex education openly in schools, stating that too much knowledge about the subject will cause them to become curious and therefore more likely to engage in casual sex. However, as Francis Bacon’s quote states, “knowledge is power” meaning that with the proper knowledge, the risk of harmful sex and early pregnancies is removed.
The reason some people are against this education is because they believe the classes are targeting students in a negative way, providing them with a fantasy-like or unrealistic image about the taboo subject. On the contrary, health classes focus on teaching students about the sexual intercourse process, the risks and diseases involved and the pregnancy process along with birth control options. If this information was not presented, teens would rely solely on their own research, often from real life experiments, or from exaggerated rumors and stories. In the safe classroom environment, information such as unprotected sex, safe sex and abstinence is presented responsibly. Once students gain this knowledge, they are able to make intelligent individual choices. Moreover, peers do not pressure each other to make hasty decisions as they have been educated equally.
As for the risks, they are a main focus of the curriculum. When talking among peers, students rarely mention the negative aspects of sex and therefore, ignore the issue. However, teachers focus on outcomes of unsafe encounters including sexually transmitted diseases, infections and unwanted pregnancies. Through this newfound awareness, teenagers’ points of view enhance and they are no longer pushed by blind ignorance into life threatening troubles.
Furthermore, schools do not stop at simply giving out facts. The diligent leaders provide simple yet valuable resources to the student body. In fact some argue there should be more focus on sex education. However, because of time restrictions, not all concerns can be answered. Therefore, students have the option of accessing further information through guidance counselors, local Planned Parenthood clinics or even fellow peer counselors. These resources aid students who have dealt with real sexual problems such as rape and physical and emotional abuse.
Also, conservative religious parties make up main opposition to public sex education, believing that speaking freely about this topic will harm teenagers. However, these groups are gradually changing their minds as teenage pregnancy rates have declined due to the education provided. There are even social movements that refuse to back up this effort because they lack the understanding and proof of how greatly and positively sex education has affected people. They fail to realize that with the fast moving time, the culture, mindsets and living norms are changing drastically and call for unconventional methods to deal with the growing problems.
Sex education does more than simply tell students about what sexual intercourse is. It helps develops attitudes and moral standards for the upcoming generations. Students are taught to engage in healthy relationships emotionally as well as physically. Other relationship aspects like bullying, abuse and stereotypes are explored to make individuals alert and realistic. This knowledge stays with them throughout their lives and impacts every relationship they have. Therefore, it is better to have the knowledge imbedded in their minds properly and maturely instead of receiving it from unreliable resources.