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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Don’t Dump the Funding, Trump!

In recent years, comprehensive sexual health programs have seen an increase in federal funding with about $176 million dollars spent in 2016; whereas, abstinence-only programs receive about half of that amount at $85 million dollars, also spent in 2016. Sexual educators can thank Former President Barack Obama for this allocation of funding, but the Obama Administration is something of the past with new laws and regulations coming about. The future of sexual education programs is now in the hands of the new and unpredictable administration of the United States of America.

trump-thumbs-down-800President Donald Trump and the Republican Party agree that the goal of sexual education programs is to reduce teen pregnancy, which has already been seeing a decline in the past few years alone. Unfortunately, they do not believe comprehensive sexual education is the reason for this lowering statistic. Instead, they believe the decline in teen pregnancy is due to restricting access to abortions and also the upbringing of more abstinence-only programs. These programs teach children that a faithful, married relationship is the only expected standard of sexual behavior and are extremely judgmental to any other type of sexual behavior that is outside the realm of marriage. Not only is this seen as naive in today’s society, but they are also against the use of contraceptives, even though they claim they would like to see a continuous decrease in teenage pregnancy, which contraceptives indeed help with. The underlying religious aspect of these programs prevents children from learning the full scope of what it means to be sexually active and performing healthy sexual behaviors.

abstinence-only-education-288x300Abstinence-only programs are not the answer to the problem of teen pregnancy. These programs try to induce a certain aspect of fear towards teenagers who may or may not be sexually active, which may work on some children, but the lack of “real-world” education puts these children at a disadvantage and at risk. Teens are exposed to many sexual behaviors through social media, their peers, and through subliminal messages each and every day. Without the proper education to prevent diseases from spreading and knowing of various alternative methods to prevent pregnancy, these kids are more likely to harm themselves and others. Most teens graduate high school and enter college without a formal sexual education from public school systems, other than experience. Instead of taking away funding from comprehensive sexual education programs, President Donald Trump should consider the implications behind teaching children that abstinence is the only way to be safe, which could have more backlash than anticipated.