I've realized from many of my classes where we talk about about sex or sex related topics that people don't really understand how contraceptives work or how to have safe sex. A lot of people I've talked to told me their sex education consisted of either their teacher teaching abstinence, or that they only briefly talked about condoms but did not discuss any other prevention methods. From what I remember, in both middle school and high school we learned about condoms and sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, and in high school they also taught us about methods of birth control, but they really didn't talk about much else. For examples dental dams, other kinds of contraceptives, that you can't use two of the same kind of contraception, how to have safe sex if you are gay, or abortion.
Sheltering our children from sex is dangerous because we have teens who are doing things without really understanding what they are doing. As much as we want to believe that by scaring our children about sex that they won't be curious, that is not the case. While I understand that we do not want to encourage our teens to have sex, by teaching abstinence, we are only endangering them because they will get curious, and they might end up getting themselves in trouble with pregnancy or even worse they may contract sexually transmitted diseases. And teaching only heterosexual safe sex education is also dangerous because those who are not part of the "norm" don't know if these rules apply to them, and have absolutely no clue about what they are doing, or who to go to because they are different.
Imagine that you are sixteen and you find out that your pregnant or that that older guy you slept with had HIV and now you have it too. Imagine the fear-- of having to go through that alone, of your parents finding out, of having to become an adult when you aren't even finished with high school, of knowing you are going to die. Imagine that dream you had of going to Harvard or of become a world renown surgeon being crushed right before your eyes. I know it's hard to imagine but unfortunately, this situation I described is all too common. According to Insider Monkey, the U.S. has the highest amount of teenage pregnancies, aged 13-19, compared to 11 other countries. There are 52 births per 1,000 of the teen age girl population in the U.S. According to the CDC, an estimated 9,731 youth aged 13-24 were diagnosed with HIV in 2014. While both teen pregnancy and HIV have decreased significantly in the past five years or so, these numbers should theoretically be at zero. While that maybe an impossible goal, if we actually taught our teens how to have safe sex, both of those numbers would most likely go down dramatically.
Let's just think about this for a minute. I'm 21 years old. I didn't even know what a dental dam was until about a year or two ago and I have yet to know how to even use one. I also didn't realize that you couldn't use two of the same kind of protection if you want more than one level of protection until recently. I also know nothing about abortion or how it actually works other then that in most states it is illegal to get an abortion after the first trimester. While abortion is a whole other topic in and of itself, as a 21-year-old woman I should have learned about this stuff a long time ago. I shouldn't be just finding out about it now. Even though I've never had sex, the point is if I had had sex, I could have risked having to become a mom at an early age, or even worse, contradicting a host of sexual diseases.
My question is, are we really trying to protect our kids, or is there something going on here at a deeper level?