Teach comprehensive sex education in Utah
This petition had 1,782 supporters
Utah students need to be given the opportunity to learn about sex education in school rather than leaving it as a taboo topic.
As a student who was never taught much besides abstaining from sex until marriage, I wasn't exposed to the hard facts of sex and contraceptives in an academic setting. I usually left these classes with many unanswered questions; which ultimately left me feeling lost and confused. I had to seek answers to these questions from peers who were also clueless. The favored option, whether we agreed or disagreed, was abstinence.
Despite some strong pro-abstinence only positions, parents and U.S. school systems should embrace comprehensive sex education programs because it decreases teen pregnancy rates.
In the article “Teen Sex”, teenage pregnancy rates are at an all time low. According to the author Kaya, “Teen birth rates dropped 10% from 2012 to 2013 and have plunged in the last 20 years, largely attributed to greater availability of sex education and a wide variety of contraceptives.” Comprehensive sex education is indeed working to prevent pregnancies.
In an article on Utah Political Capital’s website, Eric Ethington states "Utah’s sex education law is commonly referred to as “abstinence plus.” Abstinence plus means various birth control methods can be acknowledged, but teachers cannot go into detail or advocate for the use of contraceptives. The only legal recommendation a teacher can make is abstinence, even if the student has stated they’re sexually active confidentially.
Schools that offer sex education classes in Utah fall under “opt-in” guidelines. This means that in order for students to attend, the parents must sign a form. Opponents argue that teaching comprehensive sex education is a violation of parental rights, but “90% of parents with kids in public schools opt-in to the classes” (Ethington). This shows parents are not only in favor, but support comprehensive sex education.
Schools across the state shouldn’t leave their students in the dark when it comes to sex. Only teaching abstinence in schools is a disservice to adolescents.
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