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Sexuality Education needed in Public Schools! July 10, 2008

Posted by joshuachayne in Culture.
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Abstinence only education does not work. It does not even meet the criteria of common sense. Sexuality is a natural and powerful part of most people’s lives and identities. For most people this powerful biological drive cannot be suppressed. You cannot stop people from having sex just like you cannot stop animals from having sex. Anyone who has cared for animals can tell you amazing stories of the lengths their male animals will go through to get to females. Of course there will always be some humans who will wait until they are married or in a committed relationship to have sex and that is very commendable. Some people may also chose to be celibate, may identify as asexuals, or might have low sex drives. To some of us sex and sexuality may not be all that important or might only define a small portion of our being. However, the fact remains that many people will have pre-marital sex and multiple partners.

As a student teacher, I was surprised at how many students (male and female) who already had kids. Some of my female students became pregnant throughout the school year. A lot of teens are having unprotected sex. At this particular school there was no comprehensive sex education. If the students received any sex education it took place in Health or Home economics.

I was also shocked by the rampant homophobia and how even many of the faculty allowed and encouraged it. I also noticed that many of the straight males were afraid that they could be turned gay by the gay male students. How did they come to believe such a myth that they could catch homosexuality like it was a disease? Of course it came from ignorance. Neither their parents nor the school taught them about sexuality from an academic and scientific perspective. In college psychology texts there is almost always a chapter or unit on human sexuality. Sections on homosexuality usually cover twin studies, hormone disruption theory, X-Chromosome studies, and brain development. However, in all the high school psychology texts I have seen these are completely omitted.

Just think about all the ignorance and prejudice we could stop by being honest and open with young people. Scientific knowledge on such topics as homosexuality or human sexuality in general should not be hidden from our teenagers.

Teenagers should be taught about sexuality and human development. They should be taught about safer sex practices, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and how to be responsible and respectful to their bodies and other’s bodies. They should be taught about pregnancy and child development and all the responsibilities that come with being a parent.

Teens are having sex anyways and many are having unprotected sex and becoming parents or contracting STI’s. They need comprehensive sexuality education. Keeping knowledge away from them will only make them disillusioned when they discover the truth on their own anyways.

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