Sexual Education Should be a Mandatory Class

Kailey Saenz, Copy Editor

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Gilbert, AZ – In the United States of America there is no federal law requiring public schools to teach a Sexual Education class. Less than half the states require Sex and HIV education. Thirty-three states require students to learn about HIV. However, only twenty of these states require that the information provided by accurate resulting in some states presenting inaccurate information. A whopping 39 states leave the decision to receive this education up the parents and many more provide an abstinence-only program (NCSL.org). In fact, the Federal Government provides a Title V Abstinence-Only Grant to promote abstinence in public schools (acf.hhs.gov).

While the U.S. is very far behind in this very important topic, countries in Europe are decades ahead of us. Germany and France both have extensive Sex Education courses but no country does Sex Ed better than the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, Sex Education starts in kindergarten. This has proven to work in the statistics to follow.

There are many reasons why Sexual Education is very valuable to students. Sex Ed teaches students about their bodies and how they work, about pregnancy, about STDs, parameters of consent, and so much more.

For most, puberty is a very confusing time as many changes happen in the body. Sex Ed can provide a way to explain this in a safe, non-embarrassing setting. It can also provide the science behind what happens in pregnancies. Contraception, the use of condoms, pills, and other ways to prevent pregnancy, should be a part of the cirriculum.

Furthermore, STDs are very real and ignoring them in school does not make them disappear. Every year about 10 million people between the ages of 15-24 will get an STD. In countries such as the Netherlands where Sex Ed starts in Kindergarten, the STD rate in people the same age range is so low, there is not much data to be found about it (advocatesforyouth.org). In the U.S. it is estimated that 0.6% of people of all genders and ages have HIV while the Netherlands has a third of what we have, coming in at a measly 0.2%.

In the United States for every 1000 women ages 15-19 61 of them will become pregnant whereas in the Netherlands only 14 will become pregnant. As for these pregnant women, 39 women in the U.S. will give birth while only 5 women from the Netherlands will give birth. 14.8 of these women in the United States will get an abortion while only 8.8 in the Netherlands will terminate their pregnancy and only 7.2 in Germany will (advocatesforyouth.org).

The consequences of this lack of education can be devastating and last a lifetime. STDs never go away and are something that one must live with their whole lives and can even be passed down onto children. Unwanted pregnancies can destroy someone’s chances at scholarships, can ruin their grades, cause huge financial problems, and so much more.

By teaching children sexual safety they can lead more productive lives. Knowledge is a right and no one – not your parents, not a school, not the government – can take that away from you. When information is so important that it can have a lasting effect on your entire life then why shouldn’t it be taught in schools?

In fact, research shows that where a comprehensive Sex Education is pregnant it reduces the frequency of sexual activity, delays the start of it, increases the use of protection, and reduces the amount of partners a person is likely to have.

Many students here at Williams Field agree that Sex Education should be taught in schools. Nick Torres (09) said, “I think it should be a class because it shows you the dangers of rape and AIDS and how life’s going to be like.”

Nick is not the only one who thinks Williams Field should teach a Sex Ed class. Jaydin Naylor (09) said, “I think it should be taught because a lot of high schoolers fool around without thinking of the repercussions and they need to learn about the consequences of their actions.”

They are not the only ones who think so, there is a long list of students who would like to see Sex Ed become a part of the curriculum. What valid reason does the school have to deny students valuable information that they desire?

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The Student News Site of Williams Field High School
Sexual Education Should be a Mandatory Class