Comprehensive Sexual Education

Sandy Sugi, Co-Health Editor

 

Sandy Sugi

Sexual Education: what I can only assume to be the most uncomfortable unit taught in secondary education health classes all across the globe.
  Though I would argue that classes such as health/sex ed are just as, if not more, important than other high school courses kids are required to take nowadays.
  For a teenager to be able to successfully transition into the adult world, a clear and accurate sexual education is an absolute must.
  Surprisingly, initiating fully comprehensive sexual education courses in American public schooling systems were considered highly controversial up until the early 2000s.
  In a 2004 online article the National Public Radio (NPR) said, “The debate over whether to have sex education in American schools is over… although there are still pockets of controversy. Not all Americans agree on what kind of sex education is best.”
  With a nation as large and as vastly diverse in values as the U.S, a topic as ambiguous as this one is sure to be met with lots of concern.
  “Fifteen percent of Americans believe that schools should teach only about abstinence,” said NPR.“Thirty-six percent believe that abstinence is not the most important thing, and that sex ed should focus on teaching teens how to make responsible decisions about sex.”
  This has led to kids of varying states gaining different levels of comprehension on the the topic of sexual education.
  According to House Bill 999, Mississippi’s sex education law prohibits any forms of demonstration on how to properly use certain items such as condoms.
  While according to the Washington Administration Code: Title 392 (WAC), the “majority of parents and teachers [living in the state of Washington] truly believe that full comprehensive sexual education classes are what is most effective in preparing youth for the real world.”
  “All such curriculum, presentations, and materials used during teachings must be medically and scientifically accurate,” said the WAC.
  The fact that so many teenagers are not being properly taught on what to do when the time comes for them to make all these big decisions is worrisome to say the least.
  Kids aren’t being told of all the options that they have in life and are being kept in the dark about important subjects such as; what the phrase sexual orientation means and how to properly assert oneself during pressure filled sexual situations.
  In a 2015 airing of Last Week Tonight talk show host John Oliver said, “The sad thing is that sex ed when done well can do so much good, but when it’s done badly it can do real harm.”
  “Take consent, a recent survey (conducted by the Washington Post) found that college students were confused on certain aspects of consent,” said Oliver. “When asked whether undressing or simply nodding sufficed as a yes to engaging in sexual activity, approximately forty percent of college students believed that it did establish consent while another forty percent disagreed.”
  This differing in opinions and ambiguity should not be allowed to occur within the minds of young adults.
It only takes one mistake to change someone’s life for the worst in situations where sexual activity is involved.
  I can only imagine how strange this idea of fully comprehensive sex ed classes must be for parents, but when you get down to it someone’s got to teach us these lessons, better we be taught by our teachers than by no one.
  As of March 1st, 2016, “24 states and the District of Columbia require public schools to teach sexual education,” said the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  Personally, I think that this number should be increased until every state is on board and the information covered in each class should not only be accurate but should also touch on a wide variety of concerns that adolescents might have.
  10th grade health class was definitely not a period of my life I’d like to relive, but I am extremely grateful for receiving the information that I did, even if it was slightly uncomfortable to talk about.