Reality Check: Sex Ed Essay

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Reality Check: Sex Education Today’s record-breaking high number of teen pregnancies and STDs/STIs proves the traditional abstinence-only approach for sex education incompetent. Many assume abstinence-only sex education is the most proactive approach, in hopes it will prevent any sexual actions from taking place. However, in order to reach America’s youth and reduce those consequential numbers, we need to educate them about the safer choices, beyond the parental warning of “Just Say No.” Realistically speaking, teens do have sex and the age of initiation has been decreasing with time. Rather than leaving our youth in the dark, we need to coach them through the process of safely maturing in this aspect of life. The technique for sex education has stood in the middle of a tug-of-war since its beginning. Civilians, school boards, government, all have their own perspective on the comprehensive versus abstinence-only sex education debate. Sex education became essential after the HIV/AIDS outbreak toward the end of the 1980s, leading into the early 1990s. The Social Security Act, in 1996 made the abstinence-only approach primary by granting states the funds for sex education programs who assured they would follow the guidelines. The debate over which method should be used became so controversial, it seemed to have “…taken over from abortion as the leading symbolic fight in the culture wars,” (Malone/Rodriguez, 2). The decision was torn between a number of factors including religion, race, upbringing, region, etc. In the absence of proper sex education, young adults look to parents, school, television, and friends for information on sex. We all become familiar with our own bodies and the bodies of others around fifth grade, which sparks a sense of curiosity among all young adults. In the process of getting familiar, we start to develop questions, ideas, and feelings we

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