Should schools, instead of sex education? To support

Should sex education or abstinence be
taught in schools? There is an ongoing debate between if schools should teach
sex education or abstinence-only programs. The reason this topic became
controversial is that people don’t see eye to eye. There are strengths and weaknesses on
both sides of this debate. Sex education teaches about sex and prevention, and
then there are abstinence-only programs. An abstinence-only program is a form
of sex education that teaches not having sex outside of marriage. It often
excludes other types of sexual and reproductive health education, such as birth
control and safe sex. This
paper should focus on the three strengths and weaknesses of the argument, what
should be taught in schools, sex education or abstinence-only programs.

            A lot of
people feel that abstinence-only programs should
be taught in schools everywhere. The argument here is that young adolescents
shouldn’t be learning about sex and learn how to remain abstinence until
marriage. When looking at this side of the debate there are reasons that support why abstinence-only
programs should be taught in schools and how it would help teens. Abstinence-only
programs teach about the social pressure teens face on a day to day base and
how abstinence education improves decision-making skills while building
self-assurance. Teens don’t know what to say when they are pressured into
having sex and taking a class that teaches you what to do in times like this is
just what young adolescences need. This is just one of the reasons why people feel that abstinence-only programs should be taught in schools (Masl, 2004)

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            Why
should abstinence-only programs be taught in schools, instead of sex education?
To support this debatable question, I’m going to focus on three strengths. First
off, being abstinent from
sex is the only method of pregnancy prevention that is 100% effective and teens
who abstain from sexual activity also prevent the risk of sexually transmitted
diseases. Every other method of contraception has a risk of failure. Researcher
Santelli (2007), states that a new study
showed that contraceptive use is accountable for 86% of the decline in the U.S.
teenage pregnancy rate between 1995 and 2002. In addition, a teen who is
abstinence and is in a relationship doesn’t have to worry about if their
partner is with them just for sex. Teens are at their most vulnerable stage in
life and being tangled in
a sexual relationship raises that vulnerability and the odds of being hurt by
that partner. When a teen is abstinent from sex it is easier for them to know
if their partner is with them for love or sex. Lastly, studies have found a
link between low self-esteem and early sexual activity. A teen who
intentionally chooses to wait to have sexual intercourse is less likely to look
to a relationship for validation and may be more self-reliant. Although these
strengths support why abstinence-only programs should
be taught in schools, there are weaknesses that come with teaching young
adolescents to be abstinent (Rosenbaum, 2017).

             People feel teaching abstinent to teens are
the way to go, however, that’s not always the case.
I’m going to focus on the three weaknesses that support why abstinence-only
programs shouldn’t be taught in schools.
First off, telling
a bunch of teenagers to be abstinent is not a realistic expectation. Abstinence
works if teens pledge to be abstinent. However, according to scholar Janet E. Rosenbaum
(2017), taking a pledge to being abstinent doesn’t make any changes at all in
teens sexual behavior. Secondly, another weakness is teens who break their
promises of abstinence are not likely to use contraceptives than teens who do
not vow abstinence. In January 2009, a report found that teens who break their
vow to abstinence are less likely to get tested for sexually transmitted
diseases and can have sexually transmitted diseases for longer periods of time
than teens who do not vow abstinence (“Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention,”2017). Lastly, abstinence-only education directs the wrong message
to teen girls. Author Valenti argues, boys are taught that if they have sex
then that makes them a man. Girls are taught they have sex when they get
married and if they lose their virginity before marriage than they are frowned
upon, but teen girls lie and say they are virgins because they don’t want to be judged. Guys, on the
other hand, do have sex, but
they lie and say they had it with seven other girls. Basically, girls are
taught to remain pure until marriage and boys are taught have sex as soon as
possible because that’s what makes you a man (Valenti, 2017).

            Why should sex education be taught in schools, instead
of abstinence-only programs? I’m going to state three strengths that give
support to why sex education needs to be taught in schools. First off, some of
the sex education classes separate the boys from the girls, which saves
embarrassment amongst students and teaches them what they need to know about
their body built on their gender. People feel awkward when talking about sex or
even their own bodies going through changes. Robert Crown is an example of
this. Robert Crown is an introduction to puberty, but they do have a sex
education program for teens. Robert Crown separates the boys from the girls to
make it more comfortable for the teens. Secondly, having sex education being taught in schools
can clear up all those myths young adolescents hear about. For example, one
myth a lot of young adolescents believe is that you cannot get pregnant the
first time. Lastly, just to have that information about safe sex is key. Adolescents
start to become sexually active at a young age and studies have shown that
young teens become sexually active before the inclusion of educational classes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (2017), 66% of high school
students in America have had sex by their senior year, and about 65% of all
STIs contracted by Americans this year will happen in people under 24. To help
teens be responsible, the values of inclusion of classes is important for them
(Steinberg, 2017).

For people who are for sex education,
they have to know that there are flaws that come with it. I’m going to talk about the three weaknesses that
support why sex education shouldn’t be taught in schools.
First, sex education
programs are sometimes teens can be immature about the subject being taught in
class. Students will get out of control and will not be paying attention to
what is being taught. Another weakness is that is that sex education can go
against religious beliefs. A lot of religions believe in marriage before
intercourse, so some parents would have a problem with the school teaching sex
education. Lastly, most teachers are not trained to teach sex education to
students. Teachers can be biased about the taboo subject and instead of
teaching the students facts, they teach the students what they believe in. This
is harmful to the students because the students won’t get
the information about sex they need (Santelli, 2007).

Should sex education or abstinence be
taught in schools? Teaching adolescents about sex is no doubt a controversial
topic in America. This isn’t something that should be ignored and it will
forever be a debatable question. My opinion is that sex education needs to be
taught to young adolescents in schools everywhere. A lot of people aren’t aware
that sex education does teach about abstinence. They teach abstinence as being the
best method for avoiding sexually transmitted diseases but also teaches about
condoms and contraception to decrease the risk of unintentional pregnancy.