Sex Education: A Necessity Today
Raima 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”. Rim and her boyfriend, Arun, 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, Raima noticed that she wasn’t feeling well and that she hadn’t gotten her period for a long time. Of course, she 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.
Her mother asked Raima if she and Arun had slept together, and Raima had to tell her the truth. Right away her mother knew exactly what was wrong. Raima was pregnant. Her mother, Mrs. Neelam, immediately called Arun’s parents. The teenagers and their parents met and discussed the “accident”.
Later that year Raima dropped out of school and gave birth to a girl child. By this time, Arun had found a job, where he could work enough to support Raima and the daughter. This one “accident” changed Raima and Arun’s lives forever. Raima never made it to her next education class.
Raima 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 one-tenth of senior school students in India have had sex by the time they graduate.
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, in the ’80s 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 schools. Half-heartedly public schools began teaching minimal sex education when educational and governmental organizations created more developed programs for sex education in schools.
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 Raman. Some feel sex education programs, specifically ones that focus on birth control and contraceptives, only promote sex. Others support the belief 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 an expert, parents should be active in sex education at home. 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 the results and processes of sexual activity. 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.” The availability of these sex education programs is still limited.
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 honk by the parents is that many parents don’t feel comfortable talking to their kids about sex.
Most of these parents want their kids to know how to make healthy, responsible choices about sex; but don’t feel that they can answer their children’s important questions on sex. Therefore, they want their kids to learn about sex at school, where their questions can be answered correctly.
A 2005 Louis Harris Poll in America discovered that nine out of ten parents support sex education in school. Another theory that has its problems is the theory that sex education only promotes sexual activity among children.
Sex education has been shown to make kids more responsible, especially prior to sexual intercourse. There has been a large increase in the number of young adults being sexually active in the past ten years. However, there is no evidence that connects sex education to the increase.
Research shows that teens are more sexually active now than before. For example, twenty-five percent of all girls and thirty-three percent of all boys have had sex by the age of eighteen. This is a very young age, and by age twenty-two, the statistics have grown to thirty-five percent of all girls and forty-six percent of all boys.
This shows that there is a greater need for sex education than ever before. Starting as early as kindergarten, children should be taught about relationships and respect others.
At different levels, kids could benefit from sex education. As children become teenagers, they should be taught about abstinence and the consequences of sex. Then, as studies show, by high school, they are becoming sexually active and should be taught about contraceptives as well as about venereal disease and AIDS.
This may not solve the high teen pregnancy rate nor the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among teens. However, it may stop the increase and cause teens to be more responsible and educated when it comes to sex.