Sex education has widely become an important issue to be discussed not only in the homes but also in schools. The teaching of sex education in school can be considered as a positive step in ensuring that the young adults get necessary moral tools which will enable them survive in an environment heavily corrupted by media advertisements and obscene content. Good morals results to healthy sexual behaviors and avoidance of diseases (Oakley et al, 1995). Religion can as well play a major role in preaching abstinence which is one of the laws taught in the church. In the paper, various reasons why sexual education should be taught in schools will be discussed and the role of religion in the participation in providing sex education will be recognized.
Sex education refers to the knowledge about sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, contraceptives and other issues relating to human sexual behavior (Oakley et al, 1995). In the United States, there have been several debates as to whether sex education should be taught in schools or not. A small percentage of the entire American population say that that sex education should never be taught in schools while most of the Americans agree that sex education is as essential as any other type of education in the schools.
Sex education is encouraged to be taught in schools rather than teenagers relying on their parents. This is because in schools teens will have a perception to sex education as any normal class work that they are supposed to be tested on. However, in the case of sex education being provided at home, teens will barely take it serious since they have the believe that it is not really mandatory. Sex education in schools is the best idea in consideration to sex education from the parents to the children.
Sex education is seen to have a vital impact in the teenagers, in diverse ways. This is the main idea behind parents wanting sex education taught in schools. It’s at the teenage years that teens start introducing themselves to the concept of sex; it was therefore advised that it could be better if they are given the guidance of an elderly person. This resulted to sex education in schools.
“Fewer than half of all 9-12th grade students report having had sexual intercourse, reflecting a decline during the last decade from 53 percent in 1993 to 47 percent in 2003” (“U.S. Teen Sexual Activity,” 2005).
It is evident that teenagers tend to be sensitive and curious about their sexuality and the same applies to their sexual being. This initiates them to go on their own adventures to try most of the things they see on television or watch on the internet. Such teens may find themselves engaging in sexual activities, trying to uncover the mysteries of their bodies. They often do this without understanding the consequences involved such as the unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and sex addictions among many others.
Sex education is a crucial component in the health and moral growth among teenagers. It is crystal clear that youngsters derive information on sex and related subjects from friends, books, movies, internet, magazines and even television. The problem is that these sources may lack information on how to go about the issues in sex. As such, sex education will help in transferring genuine information from experienced teachers and in the process also correct any misinformation that they may have (Oakley et al, 1995). This is the importance of sex education.
Another importance of sex education to school students and teenagers in general is that sex education imparted through schools can prove to be a significant and effective method of avoiding premarital sex related perceptions, attitudes and behavior. This is so unlike in the case where parents are educating their children about sex. The teenagers will come to understand the rationale of being told to abstain by their parents. They will then appreciate advice from their seniors.
Sex education in schools is encouraged because parents and guardians may shy to teach and talk about sex with their children. Teenagers therefore cannot rely on their parents for sex education, they themselves can’t stand to share freely with their parents and ask questions and answer what they are asked. This is because of the fear they have for their parents, and the respect they hold for them. Such a discussion that is not free will not be effectively put in place as expected. “The Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government finds that only 7 percent of Americans say sex education should not be taught in schools” (“Sex Education in America,” 2004).
Educating children and school students on sex related issues also requires one to know how to approach the subject, what information to pass on and what to hold back; most of the time this is guided by the level of study of the audiences. For instance, a kindergarten student would be unfit for issues of emotional relations, of the effects of sexual misbehavior. All this can be carefully handled by a trained sex educator, who understands well what is fit for who. This explains the necessity for sex education in schools (Oakley et al, 1995).
It is evident that many teenagers are engaging in premarital sex. This calls for the need of sex education in schools, to educate and make the teenagers understand the repercussions of premarital sex. Sex education will help them make better and informed decisions about their personal activities. Many have argued that sex education also helps to reduce risky behaviors in teenagers for instance, engaging in premarital unprotected sex which results in unwanted pregnancies and STDs (Oakley et al, 1995). “A plurality (46 percent) believes that the most appropriate approach is one that might be called “abstinence-plus” — that while abstinence is best, some teens do not abstain, so schools also should teach about condoms and contraception” (“Sex Education in America,” 2004).
Religion also has plays a vital role in the sex education for teenagers. The basic idea here is that the religious groups emphasize on abstinence than anything else. “An abstinence based approach to sex education focuses on teaching the teenagers that abstaining from sex until marriage is the best mean of ensuring that they avoid infection with HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, as well as seeing abstinence from sex as the best option for maintaining sexual health” (“Abstinence and sex education,” 2010). Many supporters of abstinence based approaches to sex education believe that it is morally wrong for people to engage in premarital sex (“Abstinence and sex education,” 2010)
Although not all abstinence programs are similar, they share the essential purpose of teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity. As such, abstinence education tends to include a mutual faithful, monogamous relationship in the context of marriage. Further still, abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage is the expected standard for all school age children (“Abstinence and sex education,” 2010). Students should be made to understand that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health tribulations (“Abstinence and sex education,” 2010).
In conclusion, my personal opinion is that sex education should be taught in schools as well as at home. There are some things that as a student I would not want to ask my mom or dad because it would just be awkward and may put them and me in an awkward situation. Teaching sex in school would answer those questions and allow the student to not feel intimidated. Also, as a Christian person I believe that abstinence should be taught in schools. Just imagine being able to tell your spouse when you get married that you have waited your whole life for them and really mean. Abstinence also teaches self discipline to someone because no matter what temptations you have you have the power to not give in. Also, with abstinence a student will not have to worry about if the girl is pregnant because she missed her period. You know she cannot be pregnant because you did not have intercourse. I have chosen to remain abstinent till marriage because I promised my mom and dad I would and made a personal commitment to Jesus that I would. Also, I chose to remain abstinent because I want to and I don’t have to worry about any sexual transmitted diseases.