Let's talk about sex.
Now that I have your attention, let me reiterate: let’s talk about sex.
More specifically, let’s talk about sex education.
Guys. Sex ed is ridiculous. In Indiana, there is no federal law or policy that requires schools to teach either sexuality or HIV education. Indiana law also states that abstinence must be stressed.
Look y’all, I think abstinence is great. My personal opinion is that anyone under 18 should avoid sex because I don’t believe they’re emotionally mature enough to handle it. But, I digress. I am not naïve enough to think that teenagers won’t have sex. So, this is where I believe comprehensive sex ed is important.
Indiana’s teen birth rate is dropping (also, disclaimer: I’m not shaming teen moms). However, it’s not dropping as fast as other states. Why? Probably because of our poor sex education.
Teenagers are truly the weirdest creatures. Hormones are all over the place all the time. This can lead to poor decisions (such as unexpected sexcapades) and unwanted results (STDs, unwanted pregnancies, etc.). While people are currently working on it, it’s still not great. Indiana, and I’m assuming other conservative states as well, are pushing abstinence-only sex education, and others don’t even require sex ed to be taught (It's like Coach Carr says: "Don't have sex. Because you will get pregnant...and die).
Frankly, it’s ignorant.
It’s ignorant to think that every teenager will avoid sex after seeing the “marriage bed” activity. It’s ignorant to teach them that sex should be scary. And it’s keeping them ignorant by not providing them with all the facts so that they are able to make an educated decision about their sexual activity.
What can we do? Teach about safe sex. Teach about condoms. Teach about birth control. Teach them what consent looks like and, I will reiterate, teach them about safe sex.
New Hampshire is doing it right. They have the lowest teen birth rate in the country, likely because they require comprehensive sex education. Sure, condoms and birth control aren’t 100% effective, but your odds of not getting pregnant or an STD increase significantly when those things are used correctly.My point in all of this is that comprehensive sex education is the only surefire method to lowering teen pregnancy and abortion rates (and again, this is not shaming teen moms). We as the next generation have the power to make it better, and we can start in our schools.