Firstly, you can't keep teens from having sex so you might as well encourage them to have safe sex. One thing teenagers cannot stand is someone telling them what they should do; therefore, just educate them on every means of protection. Yes, abstinence is the only fool proof way of complete protection, but the teenagers who decide not to wait need to know the safest way possible to prevent these issues. I would say it should be up to the parents to give guidance to their children teaching them what is right. In most cases, parents wait until it is too late to talk to their kids.
Religious groups have moral intentions by insisting that abstinence only programs be taught in the school systems, but it is the student’s right to be armed with the facts. Despite religious opposition and debate over the method in which it should be taught, early sex education in public schools is still the best defense against many teen-related sexual issues and is highly supported among the American population (NPR). Sex education should give students non-biased information. A scientific methodology would educate and inform them about biological and physical issues without imposing religious or ethical beliefs. “Attempts to impose narrow moralistic views about sex and sexuality on young people through sex education have failed.” (Forrest) This is apparent when reviewing the number of sexually active teenagers despite the current abstinence based programs that are promoted in schools.
They have the notion that it is used for protection against unwanted pregnancy, when there are many other benefits. In the book Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, Dr. Spock states, “Does sex education encourage sex? Many parents are afraid that talking about sex with their teenagers will be taken as permission for the teen to have sex. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, the more children learn about their sexuality from talking with their parents and teachers and reading accurate books, the less likely they feel compelled to find out for themselves” (2004).
ABC Family has a reputation for showing mostly family friendly content and is trusted by parents. This particular reason is why many young teens are allowed to watch content that would usually not be allowed by many parents. It appeals to parents by having a public service announcement at the end of the show about why teens should not be engaging in sex or whatever problem that the characters are dealing with that particular week. This is obviously just a clever way that the network came up with so they could sell sex to teens. The show is all about what teenagers shouldn’t be doing or thinking about doing.
Suggesting that sex is more of an ethical issue, sex education is merely facts built upon foundations that have already been instilled in teens. Regardless of the teaching approach, education follows behind one’s moral values. “When I was in high school, at the tail end of the sixties, there was a straightforward line on sex among my friends. Boys could have it; girls couldn’t. A girl who was not a virgin pretended she was” (Quindlen 297).
Those that don’t properly educate their children generally end up with a surprise pregnancy from their teen or a rebellious teen. Most teen pregnancies that occur happen due to young ladies not wanting to ask their parents for birth control out of fear. It’s not ok for children to fear their parents when they are trying to make responsible decisions. While the ideal society prefers that everyone wait until marriage to participate in sexual activity, the society we actually live in has long left that tradition behind. Unplanned or unwanted Pregnancy is obviously not the only result of sexual activity.
4) I remember in elementary teachers would tell me “You can be anything you want to even the President of the United States.” I know I’m sure not the President now, but that did not stop me from pursuing a higher education and moving forward. I believe if we don’t seize the changes we desire as kids or adults we still have the opportunity to get educated for a better future. Having the ability to read, write, and keep learning gives us a chance to carry on with our everyday day life. Can you imagine our lives without having the knowledge to do either of those? We would be stepped on or possibly be perceived as idiots.
In my own life I used critical thinking perhaps less often than I should have when making sexual decisions, however, there was one area that I am proud to say I always exhibited control over- contraception. From an early age I was taught about sex and equally about contraception and why it was needed. Nothing was taboo, I could ask my mother about anything and be welcomed with honesty, maturity, and calm. So I knew early on that I did not want to have children before I decided to have them, there would be no unplanned teenage pregnancy for me! When I became sexually active I made absolutely sure that we had protection (being skeptical of my partner’s assurances), sometimes providing condoms myself.
Providing public high school students with condoms will help reduce teen pregnancy rates and help control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Sex before marriage has always been thought of being morally wrong by our society. Most parents hope that it is not their children having pre-marital sex, but the truth is, most teenagers are having sex and it can’t be ignored anymore. Teenagers often do not talk with their parents about sex, because they may feel to embarrassed. This embarrassment makes getting condoms for themselves a very difficult task.
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.