Advocates for youth: Sex education be mandatory in SHS
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As they grow up, young people face important decisions about relationships, sexuality, and sexual behavior. The decisions they make can impact their health and well-being for the rest of their lives. Young people have the right to lead healthy lives, and society has the responsibility to prepare youth by providing them with comprehensive sexual health education that gives them the tools they need to make healthy decisions. But it is not enough for programs to include discussions of abstinence and contraception to help young people avoid unintended pregnancy or disease. Sex education must do more. It must provide young people with honest, age-appropriate information and skills necessary to help them take personal responsibility for their health and overall well beings. This petition provides an overview of research on effective sex education, laws and policies that shape it, and how it can impact young people’s lives.
A research shows that one in 10 young Filipino women age 15-19 is already a mother or pregnant with first child. This result does not come as a surprise, especially if we link this with what we found regarding sexual behavior of young Filipinos today.
We know students who receive formal sex education in schools are shown to first have sexual intercourse later than students who have not had sex education. Sex education does not encourage teenagers to have sex, it does quite the opposite. Sex education teaches young people about condoms and contraception, yes, but it also teaches them about healthy relationships and decision-making, and connects them to resources in their communities. A young person who knows how to make good decisions about their reproductive health, who understands how to have a healthy relationship, and who can keep him or herself safe from STI’s, HIV, and unintended pregnancy, is set up for a fulfilling and healthy life.
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