1. The current statistics on sex education are baffling.
“22 States (plus, D.C.) teach sex education in public schools. 20 of those states mandate both sex and HIV education. 33 states require students to receive instruction about HIV/AIDS and 19 states require that if sex education is provided, it must be medically, factually, or ‘technically’ accurate.” Because we all know technically accurate information is definitely accurate information.
2. Sex is not a secret.
Children do not come from the stork and misinforming a child will not impede the disappearance of their ‘innocence’ when puberty hits. I understand not wanting to expose your children to the topic of sex at a certain age or even wanting to talk about sexual topics with them yourself. However, you cannot ignore that your child is prone to the same sexual desires as you were when you were their age.
3. Teens are going to have sex, whether you believe they should or not.
You remember what you were like as a teen. Maybe you were well aware that you were asexual or that you were sexually interested in [insert gender here]. If you were sexual and caught tidbits from adult conversations about sex but were mostly in-the-dark about it, you know it usually didn’t cease your sex drive. If anything, it peaked your curiosity.
4. Proper sex education does not exclude abstinence.
If it does, then it is not proper sex education. Teenagers should be taught how to prevent diseases and unplanned pregnancies, and that when they are uninterested or have personal, religious beliefs that prevent them from participating in sexual behavior, that it is 100% OKAY to say “no.”
5. It has the potential to reduce unwanted pregnancies.
Peaked curiosity and no education (or abstinence-only education) could mean that teens become kinesthetic learners when it comes to the subject of sex. But, if the American people choose to improve their sex education laws, the majority of the population will know what birth control is, they will know what condoms are, and will (hopefully) be encouraged to use them if they choose to have sex.
A study from the University of Washington supports performed an experiment to see whether abstinence-only or comprehensive sex education was more effective at reducing teen pregnancy. And the winner was * drum roll, please * comprehensive sex education.
6. It has the potential to reduce transmission of sexual diseases.
A study from the Journal of Adolescent Health concludes that two-thirds of the sex education programs that underwent examination improved one or more of the participant’s sexual behaviors. It also found that sex and HIV education programs do not necessarily reduce or increase sexual desires but rather, delay sexual intercourse and/or increase contraception use (thus, aiding in the fight against STDs and HIV/AIDS).
7. It will put an end to slut-shaming and female-focused analogies.
Dr. Lindsey Doe, of YouTube’s “Sexplanations,” explains the error of health educators, and the completely inaccurate analogies used to explain sex-education topics discussed in the classroom. Improving sex education will teach men, women, and non-binary genders that humans can be sexual (or asexual) no matter what gender they identify with.
8. It has the potential to improve an individual’s self-image.
The way we perceive ourselves matters and if, as impressionable children, we are taught that our bodies are ‘dangerous’—it can be detrimental to the way we approach future sexual relationships.
9. It could redefine ‘purity culture.’
There is nothing inherently wrong with purity culture. If it is a person’s personal decision to refrain from sexual activity or wear modest clothing, they believe that this decision will benefit them in the long run, or it is what they are most comfortable with. However, purity culture becomes destructive when it begins to excuse injustices. For example, when it is telling young minds that if you have sex before marriage you are “a piece of pie that is not completely done”. Or, when it tells a young woman that when she wears her ‘short-shorts,’ all her dad’s friends will look, and think about her in sexual ways, unless she covers up.
10. Learning about sex in a school can create a safe space for learning as opposed to awkward family discussions.
I am not saying kids should not talk to their parents about their sexual choices or questions. I actually encourage it. But, most of us can agree that when we were teenagers, sex was the last topic we wanted to discuss with our parents. Learning about sex from an informed, unbiased source that you do not have to live with could take some of the pressure off of your pubescent child and you, as the parent.
11. Sexual orientation and gender identity topics need to receive more coverage.
If sexual orientation and gender identity topics were introduced to sex education (if they already aren’t), there would be less confusion regarding these topics. It could put a stop to the suicides, the bullying, and the overall discrimination that occurs when anything other than heteronormative behavior is exhibited.
12. It will disrupt the encouragement of harmful gender roles.
It would teach young men that they can control their sexual urges, that their role is not to ‘dominate’ and that anything associated with the ‘feminine’ is not to be used as an insult. It would teach young women that their bodies are not something to be embarrassed of but to something they should embrace. It would give young people the confidence to be exactly who they are, instead of telling them what they can and can’t like.
13. Education is power.
Proper education, when it comes to any subject, is a tool through which we can increase our comprehension of the unknown and decrease the discrimination brought forth by our lack of understanding. This is what makes it so powerful. Let us use it wisely.