Sex Education: A Necessity in Public Schools Today
Alice was a normal sixteen year old; she loved school, her family and her boyfriend. She was having a blast during her Junior year, until the day she found out about the “accident”. Alice and her boyfriend ,Brad, had been together for over two years, and they planned to get married. Both of them felt they were ready to have sex. However, neither of them knew anything about birth control or the dangers of having unprotected sex.
What they knew about sex they had learned from watching television and from what their friends had told them. So one night they decided to go ahead and try it.
Then about six weeks later, Alice noticed that she wasn’t feeling well and that she hadn’t gotten her period for a long time. Of course, Alice had no idea what was wrong with her, so she told her mother how she didn’t feel well and she hadn’t had her period. Alice’s mother asked Alice if she and Brad had slept together, and Alice had to tell her the truth. Right away her mother knew exactly what was wrong.
Alice was pregnant. Alice’s mother, Gertrude, immediately called Brad’s parents. The teenagers and their parents met and discussed the “accident”.
Later that year Alice dropped out of school and gave birth to twin girls. By this time, Brad had graduated and found a job, where he could work enough to support Alice and the twins. This one “accident” changed Alice and Brad’s lives forever.
Alice never made it to her sex education class her senior year.
Alice got pregnant during a time when most teenagers weren’t having sex. However, recently a survey done by Health Initiatives for Youth , showed that more than two-thirds of high school students in the U.S. have had sex by the time they are Seniors (“Sex Education. .
The history of sex education goes back to the late nineteenth century. Sex education then consisted of medical and biological information about venereal disease and reproduction. Later, when the Second World War was over, mass media played a large role in making information on sex available to kids. Many people felt this caused a need for sex education in public school (“Sex Eduation,” Encarta.
). Halfheartedly public schools began teaching minimal sex education, until the late 1960’s, when educational and governmental organizations created more developed programs for sex education in schools. These programs were encouraged by religious organizations (“Sex Education,” Grolier’s.). However, these organizations were met with opposition by many people with many different theories.
Traditional opposing theories of sex education include the theory that sex education in public schools is ” an insidious and unnatural invitation to sexual activity,” says Randy Engel.
Some feel sex education programs, specifically ones that focus on birth control and contraceptives, only promote sex (Mack). Others support beliefs that sex education should come naturally. They also feel that sex education has no place anywhere but in the home. Sex should be discussed in a religious and moral framework in the home. According to Joseph W. Gow, parents should be active in sex education at home (Gow pg.
149). All theories on sex education share the belief that sex education in public schools is not working and teen pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases, among teenagers, are rising.
Sex education is defined, broadly, as instruction in results and processes of sexual activity (“Sex Eduation,” Encarta.). Sex education as known today is, according to Grolier’s Encyclopedia , ” a formal instruction program to provide children and young adults with an objective understanding of sex as a biological, psychological, and social life force.” Availability of these sex education programs is still limited, but mandatory courses can be found in more than twenty states (Grolier).
Although theories that oppose sex education in public schools make good points, there are many problems with these theories. First, the major problem with the theory that sex education should be taught at home by the parents is that many parents don’t feel comfortable talking to their kids about sex. .