Michelle Bryants Selling Safe Sex in Public Schools

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Michelle Bryant’s “selling safe sex in public schools” An issue that faces many public school systems in America today is whether teaching safe sex, or sexual purity and abstinence, is more effective in terms of reducing teen pregnancy rates and STD transmission. This question surfaces numerous other inquiries, many of which we do not have the answers to. Quite often, the answer is not solely dependent on empirical evidence but also influenced by an individual’s opinion, as well as moral and religious beliefs. In this piece of writing, Bryant allows the reader a glimpse into the lives of those most affected by this worldwide issue. Throughout the article, “Selling Safe Sex in Public Schools”, Michelle Bryant effectively uses the experiences of Shelby Knox to argue that teaching safe sex is more important than teaching abstinence, despite public belief. Teenagers are now raised in a “sex-sells” type of environment and the idea of abstinence is unfortunately becoming increasingly incomprehensible and impractical. Although the concept of safe sex is still highly detested among specific cultures, many agree that it is pretty logical from a preventative standpoint. Bryant demonstrates logos when she states that in Shelby Knox’s home town, Lubbock, Texas, their sexual education courses are solely based on abstinence and ironically have some of the highest STD and teen pregnancy rates in the nation (Bryant 872). This demonstrates that teaching abstinence is not only ineffective, but also unfeasible in the company of curious teens. However, the government still failed to acknowledge that teaching abstinence was not effective given the students’ age and varying circumstances. Not only did the federal government fail to acknowledge their shortcomings in teaching programs that support an abstinence approach, they continued to embrace them by increasing federal

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