Writing for College - Civic Engagement
Formal Essay 1
Sex Education: A Conversation We Can No Longer Avoid
Imagine that your first exposure to sex education is a woman being compared to a pair of dirty gym sneakers, a used toothbrush, or a piece of chewed up gum because she engaged in healthy sexual activity before marriage. The red lights are flashing, and the warning signs are going off in your head. The number of negative consequences from sex education programs like that are limitless, and yet that might be exactly what your children are being taught today. Sex education in America needs to be regulated and required throughout the entire country to provide everyone with the same information that they will need for the rest of their lives.The variation from state to state within the US is abundant and extremely dangerous. There is no required standard for sex education in this country. The quality and quantity of education students are getting on sex, a subject that will be prevalent in the rest of their lives, depends greatly on where they live. The programs range from abstinence-only or none at all, to comprehensive models. The comprehensive models are of the highest quality, and the most thorough in the US. The discrepancies over what schools should be teaching in their sex education programs stems back to the ambiguous and absent presence government policies and legislation have had in this conversation over the years. As the world finally moves towards accepting all people, you would expect more sex education programs to be LGBTQ inclusive. Unfortunately you can still find states that restrict what educators can say about homosexuality in general. Only twenty-four states require public schools to teach sex education, even fewer require both sex education and HIV education[footnoteRef:1]. [1: Kate Blackman, Samantha Scotti, Emily Heller. "State Policies on Sex Education in Schools." NCSL. December 21, 2016. Accessed March 09, 2018. ]
President of Advocates for Youth, Debra Hauser, stated in an interview that the prevalence of abstinence-only education is one of the biggest issues with the state of sex education in the country[footnoteRef:2]. Thirty-seven states require that information on abstinence is provided during sex education, but twenty-six states of which require that abstinence be stressed in their sex education programs[footnoteRef:3]. In addition, eleven other states only require abstinence is covered during sex education[footnoteRef:4]. Abstinence-only education attaches a negative stigma to healthy sexual behavior that is detrimental to young students. Many of these programs show people, especially women, who engage in healthy sexual activity in a way that makes students think that sexuality is “a dirty and damaging trait that must be controlled”[footnoteRef:5]. Restricting these young students from a more thorough model of sex education can be detrimental to their self acceptance, ...