Should we have Comprehensive Sex Education in Schools?
According to a Survey conducted in 2009 by the Center of Disease and Control, 18 million cases of STDs are reported each year. From that 18 million about 1/2 of those cases are people ages 15-25 years of age. Only about 30% of students who are currently sexually active use condoms. Four of 10 young women in the U.S. become pregnant at least once before turning 20 years old(National Center for Health Statistics).
I had my daughter when I was 16, and I cannot tell you why I made the choice to have sex, or why I did not use some type of contraceptive. Raising my daughter who is now 13, I find myself wondering if we should institute a Comprehensive Sex Education program in the public schools.
Federal law does not require sex education in schools, but according to the Guttmacher Institute most states have adopted lax laws governing sex education (Guttmacher Institute). Each state decides the content of the course and the school usually decides the curriculum and the details of the subject matter. The school administration often meets with concerned groups of parents and other community members to review possible curriculum and options for their health courses.
Though sex education is left up to the state, until recently government funding for sex education in the class room was limited to abstinence-only education, Abstinence Education 93.235 under Section 510(b) of Title V of the Social Security Act, Community-Based Abstinence Education 93.010 (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act of 1981(AFLA) funded abstinence-only education. In order to receive funding from the government, schools would have to agree to teach abstinence as the only means of preventing STDs and Teen Pregnancy.
Recently Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2010, which eliminated funding for CBAE and the AFLA. Congress also created funding for comprehensive sex education with the following acts: Teen Pregnancy Prevention...