Teaching Students "Abstinence-Only" Is Not Sex Education
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Health and Wellness

Teaching Students "Abstinence-Only" Is Not Sex Education

Teaching safe sex is not advocating people to have sex, it's preparing them for when they decide to have sex.

couple kissing

One of the biggest concerns in educating our youth is sexual education. Should that be left to the parents or is it up to the school system to properly explain this extremely vital yet awkward bodily function?

The topic of sex and how to be safe is a very touchy subject to most people. As a society, we are brought up to be ashamed of our "private parts." Talking openly about sex and being curious about it can be seen as inappropriate and perverted. Because of this, many people take the abstinence-only" route in sex education.

While there is nothing wrong with choosing abstinence, it should not be taught as the only option. Telling tweens and teens "just don't do it" is not enough. According to a study in 2017, Alabama, Arizona, Missouri, Georgia, and many other "Abstinence Only" states rank in the top 20 of the highest teen birth rates in the country. This shows that without proper sex education, teens are left with little to no knowledge of the risks that come with having sex and how to be safe in order to avoid those risks.

In my Sex Ed experience, they separated the boys and girls into different rooms while the teacher repeated to us "God made sex, sex is good, sex is for MARRIAGE" for thirty minutes. That wasn't education, it was brainwashing. I literally went home that night and read a Wikipedia article about sex because I was so confused. Even then, I didn't know the full story. Imagine how many young students were introduced to pornography because of this. How many people will grow up with the wrong perception of sex and make so many mistakes?

This does not only apply to the school system, but to us as a society. Parents and school systems should stop dodging questions about sex and be upfront and direct. We shouldn't be ashamed of saying penis and vagina because they are just body parts just like our arms and legs.

Teaching safe sex is not advocating people to have sex, it's preparing them for when they decide to have sex. That is where many people get it skewed. Above all else, we want our children to be safe, abstinence does not create safety but captivity.

It puts an expectation on people during the time they think of sex the most. When being knowledgeable about sex could help them better understand themselves and their choices going forward. Telling a pubescent teen not to have sex, talk about sex, or think about sex is like telling someone to never breathe. It's obvious that they will not be able to hold on forever.

It's a shame that movies meant for children ages 13 and up has a man getting his head chopped off in glorious IMAX 3D, but showing a nipple on screen (which everybody has) is meant for adults. That is just the world we live in, but that's a whole other topic.

Talking about sex is difficult even to me writing this. This is a topic that has been on my mind for years though, and it would be hypocritical of me to avoid this topic due to fear of judgement. Honestly, it's good to get it out there. In a perfect world, the topic of sex wouldn't be an issue, but I hope that going forward, we can start to see sex in a more positive light.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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