By REAL, I mean sex education programs that include information on birth control methods, sexually transmitted diseases, and the emotional issues that can accompany early sexual involvement, teen pregnancy/parenting, and sexual assault. These programs do not give students the “green light” to have sex; it simply gives information to those who will decide to have sex (regardless of what education they receive). Even with abstinence-only programs, students are still having sex they just don’t know how to protect themselves.
1. Abstinence-only programs don’t work.
- According to Advocates for Youth: to date, 11 states have evaluated the impact of their abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. NONE has been shown to reduce teen sexual activity.
- Since these programs don’t work, they also waste taxpayer money. Over $1.5 billion dollars in taxpayer money has been spent on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs since 1996.
2. Parents want sex education in our schools.
- A 2004 survey done by the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation found that 90% of parents support sex education in schools.
- The same survey documented that 93% of parents found that sex educations were very or somewhat helpful to their children.
- Also, it’s not every parents dream to teach their kids about sex. I’m not saying that parents and kids should not talk about sex, but why not let a trained professional do most of the work?
3. Teen Pregnancy.
- When looking at comparable countries, the US has the highest rate of teen pregnancies
- A survey done by the CDC from 2004-2008 on live-births in teen mothers showed that: Approximately one half (50.1%) of these teens were not using any method of birth control when they got pregnant, and of these, nearly one third (31.4%) believed they could not get pregnant at the time. This statistic alone shows the need for sex education. If students aren’t taught about contraceptives, how will they learn?
- In 2010, $9.4 billion was spent on teen childbearing
- In 2012, Over 305,000 children were born to teen parents
4. Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
- Youth ages 15-24 make up just over one quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year.
- Did you know that some STD/STIs could lead to infertility and even cervical cancer?
- Did you know that some STD/STIs could be asymptomatic meaning that they present no symptoms? 95% of untreated cases of gonorrhea and chlamydial infection, respectively, were untreated because they were never symptomatic.
- Did you know that while condoms can give some protection against STDs, some STDs such as herpes and HPV can still be transmitted while wearing a condom and while a person is asymptomatic? Fun fact: 1 in 5 Americans have genital herpes.
- Did you know that you can get tested for STD/STIs at little to no cost at most health departments and health clinics?
- If you answered no to any of these questions, you’re not alone. A lot of our students don’t know these things either.
5. SOME PEOPLE ARE CLUELESS, from a lack of what? Education.
- Can you tape a condom on for it to stay better? Can you get pregnant from swallowing sperm? Questions are endless.
- A lot of people don’t even know proper sexual terminology.
- A study showed that the majority of teen parents never thought about how an early, unintended pregnancy would affect them for the rest of their lives.
- If we teach people about birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and so on, we are giving them priceless knowledge. Fingers crossed* they use it.