Sex Education A Necessary Part Of Curriculum Paramount To A Developing Teen

1415 words - 6 pages

SEX EDUCATION A NECESSARY PART OF CURRICULUM PARAMOUNT TO A DEVELOPING TEENSexual Education being taught in the school systems to teenagers is a subject which has repeatedly come under fire by many. Some people feel it is a necessary part of curriculum paramount to a developing teen. Others, feel this is a realm best left to the parents. My feeling is that it is important to inform and educate teens and allow them to make their own responsible decisions. Detailed in the following paragraphs I will explain my reasons, as well as arguments presented by the opposing viewpoint.Sex is a normal, healthy part of human nature. It follows that this subject should be addresses in a learning environment. This allows correct, controlled information to be imparted to the students. Teachers provide statistics, lesson plans, and visual aids, that parents, or "learning on the streets" would not provide. In our efforts to educate our adolescents, we must also encourage parents to be involved in the every day lives of their teens. Parents play a major role in the teachings of their children.In sex education it is important to give clear concise information, and to de-personalize due subject in a classroom setting. From this experience students learn the facts and statistics without personal influences interfering. They are able to take away from this a better understanding of themselves and the subject matter allowing them to make wise and informed decisions.Many influential factors determining the age of first sexual intercourse among adolescents include, "the timing of puberty, social controls, romantic relationships, sexual abuse, physical attraction, use of drugs and alcohol, approval of partner, loss of self-control or self-worth, and a major influence coming from peer pressure."# In outlining the curriculum for sexual education, these topics should not only be addressed, but also topics focusing on the consequences of having unprotected sex.The topics of sexual abuse, assault and STD's must be addressed. "Statistics show that adolescents who are not provided education on these topics, were less likely to report such matters to authorities."# We have also learned that they are far more likely to become victims of assault or sexual abuse, by not having learned ways to avoid such situations.Sexual education instills a level of responsibility and confidence within a teen. It teaches them to become comfortable with their bodies instead of embarrassed. They learn more accurate information, and are taught many aspects of sexual behavior. This in return encourages adolescents have a feeling of comfort about themselves, and will encourage positive actions and more responsible choices when faced with decisions about sex.Having a feeling of self-worth or confidence will hopefully enable the right decisions to be made. Having a feeling of comfort, can make discussing sex and asking questions easier for adolescents. Communicating without embarrassment on the topic of sex allows the lines of communication to be opened amongst teens."Adolescents who are raised from birth by both parents, whether biological or adoptive, have lower probabilities of having sex at a younger age than adolescents who grow up in other family situations."#This raises the question: If so many adolescents are raised in a single parent household, how can we be assured that this large group can provide and will receive proper guidance necessary from both sexes. (i.e.) a Mother or a Father? Can a Mother really educate her son adequately regarding sex. Would a Father not be better suited and informed for this discussion? Would the same be true in a father daughter circumstance?A REALM BEST LEFT TO THE PARENTSMany people believe that in this highly sexualized society, children should not be encouraged to have sex, but instead provide alternatives such as abstinence.Some people feel that Sex Education is a realm best left to the parents. They should decide at what point it is necessary, if at all, to advise their children on sexual activities. Some children may not be developed emotionally, or mentally enough to fully understand the process of sexual education which is being taught in schools. Others feel that sex is too personal of a matter to be taught about in school.There are those that feel teaching about sexual education will only encourage further sexual activity, as if teaching it, condones it. If they are ignorant of sex, maybe they will be less likely to not participate in sex.Parents feel that by educating their adolescents at home, they can play their part as role models. Which will help teens in the development of becoming a sexual being. Parents may feel that the teacher is not an appropriate role model for their child, or that social influences from other children in the classroom, may encourage childish behavior. In part, because teachers are more open to teaching a broader aspect of sexual education.Cultural factors may also influence a parents opposition towards sexual education. "Different cultures share certain belief systems that they would rather instill in their children themselves, enabling the child to express themselves within their own culture."# Parents feel that teachers are not educated enough in the understanding of the vast majority of ethnicities, and beliefs of each culture.Parents also feel that teachers' lack of understanding towards teens, may result in the defiance of their behaviors in classroom settings. Adolescents may not react positively towards topics taught in school. If adolescents can not respect their teachers, how can we expect them to have a desire to learn from them?Many parents feel that abstinence should be stressed as apart of an adolescents growing stages. Due to moral or religious beliefs, families may feel sex education does not encourage abstinence, but instead discourages it. By presenting too much encouragement in the opposing direction.Often times, parents feel that abstinence is not stressed enough in sexual education classes, and by passing out condoms, (as do so many schools, as a means of protection), this is more or less a topic of "immoral education."SKEPTICAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS MORALITYThere are many discrete meanings and implications of moral education. "There are a good many devices regarding methods and instructions for teaching morals and values. The result often is skepticism about moral education. First, for some educators the term has a negative connotation implying churchlike and hypocritical behaviors. In this understanding morality means not being free, being traditional, having a puritan education and being indoctrinated."#"Second, moral education often seems to be in direct contradiction of the methods that focus on social moral values and welfare. Educators believe that we should be concerned about positive social traits and values, such as cooperative social adjustment and democracy, instead of moral beliefs. This dangerous perspective often leads educators and citizens to avoid moral education entirely in a democratic society and leads therefore to a skeptical attitude towards morality."#Safe sex is a primary staple of sexual education. So many people feel that if we do not teach how to avoid the pitfalls of STD's, and pregnancy, young people will be doomed to repeat the mistake others have made. Ignorance of the facts will only lead to teens having unprotected sex and risk disease or teen pregnancy, possibly restricting future plans in young lives. Education allows us to make informed intelligent decisions. Without sexual education, teens are more inclined to engage in sexual acts, make unnecessary mistakes, and may not understand emotional implications of sexual relationships.In conclusion, Sexual Education is a necessary normal part of curriculum. A developing teen needs guidance, instruction, and confidence in this area. To avoid this topic in school for whatever reasons, would only prove to be a detriment to developing teens and even society as a whole.SOURCES(2000,July) "Effective Approaches to Reducing Adolescents Unprotected Sex, Pregnancy, and Childbearing." Report to the Surgeon General, Merlin C. et al. (1986) "Handbook of Research on Teaching" 3rd Edition, p.917-918


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