We’ve Reached Climax! (Conclusion)

The purpose of this blog was to emphasize the importance of comprehensive sexual education and to propose that it be implemented into school curricula nationwide. With a new Presidential Administration in the White House, it is more important than ever that the push for comprehensive sexual education is kept strong. While we addressed arguments opposing comprehensive sex ed as fairly as possible, we made sure to highlight why those arguments were flawed and stressed the importance of a comprehensive sex ed mandate. Although we were able to pinpoint a reason to continue advocating for comprehensive sex ed within each opposing argument, our research showed us that sex ed is controversial because our society is becoming increasingly conditioned to see sex in a certain light.

The discussion about comprehensive sexual education will always be controversial. There will be people who demand comprehensive programs, but there will also be those who think our children should be taught through abstinence-only programs. The resultant divide has created a discrepancy between those educated in states with comprehensive programs and those who have been educated in states without. If people can’t unite in support of the more effective option, comprehensive sexual education, then children will continue to develop into adults without a full understanding of their bodies or others’. Sexual education is not a personal preference because our sexual anatomies are a fact. At the present, less than half of American states are enacting a comprehensive sexual education program, and even less require education on HIV. The fact that not all programs are required to be medically accurate only serves to exacerbate the problem. The lack of standard and lack of information precision is a disservice to our children and ourselves. For all these reasons, we think sexual education should be mandated on the federal level, and encouragingly, it seems more people are coming around to the idea of a universal comprehensive sexual education program.

Perhaps the most surprising fact we learned from our research was that a majority of people do indeed support comprehensive sex ed. There is an overwhelming amount of parental, student, and teacher support for this movement. Even more surprising may be the fact that support for comprehensive sex ed ranges across all sorts of political and religious ideologies. Why is there so much controversy surrounding a topic that is so supported? Perhaps it is that sex is considered a family-only subject, and perhaps it is that the voice of the opposition has always been louder. Perhaps it is that society has simply changed, and sex is no longer tied so definitely to having children. Even as cultural perceptions of sex have changed and are changing still, we have concluded that the benefits of comprehensive sex ed tip the scales in its favor.

Overall, this blog helped us learn more about the policies important to us and gave us the chance to construct a comprehensive argument for it. We see the importance of looking at an argument from every angle to strengthen our stance. We believe in the importance of expanding your knowledge of topics you may think you already know well. We have learned more than we expected to during this project, and hope you did too!

Thank you for taking the time to follow @letstalkaboutsex! We hope you walk away with a new understanding or perspective about comprehensive sexual education that will inspire you to join us in advocating for it!

Sincerely, the Sexperts of COMM398O

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Ignorance is Not Bliss

As the call for comprehensive sexual education grows louder, the push-back against it only intensifies. Claims that comprehensive sex ed encourage and trivialize sex are rampant, with many arguing that informing students about birth control options, abortions, and sexual health provides students with a means of engaging in premarital sex. However, there is absolutely no evidence to support that teens who are taught comprehensive sex ed are more likely to engage in premarital sex.

This knowledge does not stop opponents from claiming comprehensive sex ed is Image result for ontario sex edfundamentally flawed. Lori Cole, executive director of the Eagle Forum, a conservative lobby group, argues that comprehensive sex ed sends mixed signals to students by giving kids more information about risky behaviors rather than simply teaching them to avoid those behaviors. She argues that teaching students about contraception yet advising them to wait to have sex  gives students conflicting messages about when to have sex. The fact of the matter though, is that teens are already having premarital sex, whether they are being taught comprehensive sex ed or not. In fact, Mississippi, which predominantly teaches students that abstinence is the only responsible choice, has one of the highest teen birth rates in the country. We need to stop fooling ourselves with this idea that all young people are saintly virgins and start actually preparing them for the awkward, yet important, realities of sex. Teaching teens about contraceptives is not going to motivate them to have sex, because clearly they are already self-motivated enough; comprehensive sexual education simply gives them the tools they need to be safe.

Contrary to the beliefs of its opponents, comprehensive sex ed does not entail handing out condoms and saying “have fun kids.” It still promotes abstinence as the most effective way of preventing STIs and unwanted pregnancies. In fact, comprehensive sex ed is shown to reduce the frequency of sex by almost 30%.  Furthermore, when people fight against comprehensive sex ed, they aren’t just fighting against contraception knowledge, they are also fighting against knowledge of healthy relationships, the avoidance of unwanted sexual advancements, and medically accurate information.

So, no, Lori, comprehensive sex ed does not send mixed signals or promote premarital sex, it just acknowledges the fact that teens are going to have sex so they might as well be prepared.

Can you pass this sex-ed quiz?

When students can’t rely on their classes to teach them the critical information they need to know about their bodies, they are likely to seek that information from other sources. The issue with this is that many of these sources are unreliable and can lead to further misconceptions about sex and relationships. A lot of times students use their friends or porn to teach them critical information about sexual activity and, in case you were not aware, these sources can be extremely inaccurate!

Basic sexual knowledge should not be something only some students receive, yet it unfortunately is. Limited information can be very detrimental to students, especially in high school and college, when many students are expanding their sexual experiences.

So, see for yourself – take this basic sex-ed quiz to see how much you know. (I’ll admit, I got quite a few wrong.)

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