ADOLESCENT SEX EDUCATION 6
During adolescence, young people mature sexually and require guidancein overcoming the challenges that come with the development stage.The rise in cases of teenage pregnancy and premarital sex has forcedthe authorities to look at the issue of adopting sex education intothe school curriculum. This shows the need for sex education to theyoung people at adolescent. This essay seeks to find out the detailsof sex education in the school curriculum, its impact on adolescentssince its inception, the opinion of parents regarding the issues, andthe general controversies associated with the issue.
Sex education is needed because it provides the needed preparation asthe age of sexual maturity for the people in this age is uncertain.The exact age of sexual maturity is not established because someadolescents mature as early as 9 years while others may achievesexual maturity at 18 and above. Although the age of sexual maturitydiffers between adolescents, one thing remains constant- the need forsex education. In the recent past, education touching on mattersregarding sex, sexual identity and sexual orientation was consideredinappropriate in the school setting.
For the purposes of this research, the process began with readingthrough all the lecture notes in a bid to find an appropriate topic.I then split the contentious issues in the paper into theaforementioned four subgroups. I used different sources ofinformation for each research subgroup because of the need forrelevance and accuracy. Regarding the issue of details of sexeducation in schools, I used the ministry of education website. Tofind out the impact of sex education since its inception, I looked athealth statistics from credible websites and various research papersthat were related to the subject matter. For matters opinion, Ilooked at article journals, online publication and news websites.
Most schools in the USA offer education to children as early asgrade Six (National conference of state legislators, 2015). However,the American education system is so decentralized that sex educationis barely similar between two districts. Some states have made sexeducation compulsory while others have given parents the option ofwithdrawing their children from the program. On average, thecurriculum mainly touches on the issue of abstinence and negativeeffects of engaging in premarital sex. The curriculum also involves afew topics on causes and prevention against HIV and other STIs. Insome states, sex education touches on sex abuse and the issue ofPlanned Parenthood (National conference of state legislators, 2015).As said earlier, the scope of the curriculum varies depending on whatthe local education authorities deem fit for inclusion in thesyllabus.
According to Kohler, et al (2007), unlike the abstinence- only-programs, comprehensive sex education has proven to be moreeffective. Evaluations reveal that the latter can delay the onset ofsexual activity in young people. More to the point, the program isnot aligned to a religion or a religious belief and is factual. It isworth noting that the program is effective as it partially led to adecrease in teenage pregnancy. In their research, the group found outthat adolescents who had undergone the comprehensive sex educationprogram were 50% less likely to become pregnant as compared to theircounterparts in the abstinence- only- program or those with no sex-education at all (Kohler et al, 2007).
The issue of sex education for adolescents is not withoutcontroversy. Seemingly, different groups want their issues/ concernsaddressed in the program. Although studies reveal that most parentsfavor the open sex education system, some still feel that the programis not age- appropriate for their children. According to Richer(2015), Canadians held huge demonstrations in protest against a sexeducation pilot project by Quebec Curriculum developers. During theprevious year, parents had withdrawn their children from the programwhen it was launched in Ontario. The program that included sexeducation for five hours a year for all school children came off astoo intense for Ontario parents. The LGBT community is also concernedthat their plight might not be addressed in the program. They claimthat children ought to know that being gay is as normal as beingheterosexual. On the other hand, religious groups insist thatchildren ought to learn about abstinence because it is a sin toengage in premarital sex (Mosland, 2015).
From the findings, I found new information regarding thecontroversies that surround the issue of sex education. Whatsurprised me is the numerous viewpoints towards this subject. Thefindings support some of the information covered in class while theydispute others.
In conclusion, sex education is now a socially acceptable subject ascompared to a few decades ago. There are two main sex educationprograms in the USA- abstinence- only- program and the comprehensivesex education program. The latter has brought controversy because ittouches on matters of sex within a wide scope. Some parents feel thatthe content is not appropriate for their kids while religious leadersfeel that the program contravenes the teachings of religious books.However, many states offer parents the option to withdraw theirchildren from the program if they feel that it is notage-appropriate. The government is still researching on the possibleamendments to the program.
Kohler et al. (2007). Abstinence-only and Comprehensive Sex Educationand the Initiation of Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy. Journalof Adolescent Health, 42(4): 344-351
Masland, M., (2015). Carnal Knowledge- the sex ed debate. NBCnews. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nbcnews.com/id/3071001/ns/health-childrens_health/t/carnal-knowledge-sex-ed-debate>6 December, 2015
National conference of state legislators (2015). State policy onsex education in schools. <Retrieved fromhttp://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-policies-on-sex-education-in-schools.aspx>6 December, 2015
Richer, J., (2015). Controversy could follow Quebec’ssex-education pilot project. The globe and mail. Retrieved fromhttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/controversy-could-follow-quebecs-sex-education-pilot-project/article26167215>6 December, 2015