Let's talk Safe Sex

Let's talk Safe Sex

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MILLIE CARRILLO started this petition to Betsy DeVos

Mandating sexual education in US public schools is important especially at a young age. It creates comfort in persons skin in the long run, and teaches students about themselves and others. It prevents STD's and unexpected pregnancy for young people and can help them live in a safer environment. 

In 2017, about 19 per 1,000 teens in the United States had a child within the ages of 15 and 19. In 2016, 45 percent of reported Chlamydia cases in the United States were of young women ages 15 to 24, meaning 45 percent of the 1.7 million cases diagnosed were of these women. In 2016, 8,451 people were diagnosed with HIV, while eighty percent, 6,776, of these people diagnosed were of ages 20 to 24. These numbers are scary, and although it is the hard truth, anyone can be a part of any or even all of these statistics. There can be many reasons why the can happen, and one of these major reasons is very little to no sex education taught at schools. Whether you’re 14, 17, or even 21 it can affect a person any age whether its unwanted pregnancy, STD (sexually transmitted disease) prevention, or even keeping from a harmful relationship. Sex Education should be vital in a schools or even a states learning curriculum. Mandating Sex Ed should not be an issue if it’s already being taught about at a child’s school at a young age. 

First off, let’s define what Sex Education IS. The definition varies. In Merriam Websters dictionary, it’s a broad not so specific definition being, “Education in school’s about sex.” Pretty obvious. Of course sex doesn’t have to be taught in schools only, but in this case because a child’s education is important and required in the US by law, this should be a start. However, when we want to know definitions from a more sex-based group, like Planned Parenthood it, “Helps people gain the information, skills and motivation to make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality.” Although this is a more positive outlook, certain people or even groups , like the Catholic Church, for a very long time have taught the whole “abstinence only” and “no sex before marriage.” On the website focusonthefamily.com, they tell us it supports “abstinence-until-marriage education in the public schools because it is God's expected standard as communicated in Scripture.” 

Sexual Education should be a very important topic taught at schools, and shouldn’t have any religious influence when it comes to a school and the learning curriculum. Especially if it is a public school. Mandating it in all United States public schools should be the first step. If we look at other countries, although the US is as progressive as we think, it isn’t when it comes to sexual education. In the US, only 22 states require the subject to be taught in schools while most European countries make it mandatory.  In conservative states, abstinence-only sex education is taught, and these states are also the states that have the highest teen birthrates between 15-19 in all the US. 

In European countries like the Netherlands, they educate students as young as four years old about this important topic. At this age, they don’t learn exactly about sex itself, but about relationships and abuse. According to PBS, the topic made these younger students better at communicating and speaking about what they are and aren't comfortable with. In Denmark, starting sex education at a younger age has made teen pregnancy rates fall so low the government is actually supporting reproduction in younger ages. In these countries, the way sex ed is taught is very flexible, and makes the teen pregnancy and STD rates the lowest in the world. This means that the education leads to less unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, as well as STDs. Another positive note to this is also that contraceptives like condoms are easier to obtain, and birth control pills are free if the person is under 21. 

As mentioned before, Sexual education at a young age can be a huge advantage in a persons future. In many ways, it can make a person happier, and feel less guilt. As a teenager, parents want their kids to live in and associate in a safe and friendly environment. Growing up without an open and well educated mind in any subject or aspect can give anyone a hard time in that matter. Adolescence is only the peak of sexual finding. Sex Education should be mandated in all US public schools from a young age not only for the wellness of a child’s future, but for their relationships with others. This is a topic not many are comfortable talking about, especially parents, but with trained professionals and an age appropriate curriculum there would be no worry. 

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