Comprehensive sex education programs in schools

Subject: Family
Type: Critical Analysis Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 613
Topics: Teenage Pregnancy, Health, HIV, Sex Education
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Introduction

Comprehensive Sex Education programs in schools aim at reducing risky sexual practices among the youths. It achieves increased knowledge and empowering youth with strategies to reduce sexual related risks such as sexually transmitted infections, HIV and unwanted pregnancies. Worldwide, the burden of HIV is disproportionately greater among the adolescents and the youth (Schmidt, Wandersman, & Hills, 2015). As a result, one of the approaches of tackling this health challenge is the comprehensive sex education programs in school. There is unequivocal evidence to support the continuation of this program. While the United States and Europe are way ahead in terms of its implementation, other areas of the world haven’t been left far behind.

Pro’s position

There is evidence in support of this program as a means of reducing or preventing sexually transmitted infections. This program has also not been shown to lower the age of sex debut and increase the frequency of sex. On the contrary, there has been a steady decline of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infection where this program have been rolled out globally. Unlike abstinence only programs whose evidence for success is circumstantial at best or totally infective this program has proven to be an effective tool against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (Kohler, Manhart, & Lafferty, 2012). This evidence was corroborated both in the United States and in Europe. Lastly, other position that due to its comprehensive nature, this program addresses the sexual needs of the youth more definitively.

The con position

Few, ifany, comprehensive sex education programs are funded by the government of the United States, unlike abstinence only programs for schools (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2011). Others think that this program undermines the character of the individual students. Most of the demerits presented against this program have no foundation of the rigorous research process. To an extent, opponents of the program paint it in a bad picture using myths and misconceptions. This reduces the general acceptability of this program. Other religious authorities fear this approach will end up glorifying premarital sex and thus becoming a double edged sword of sorts. It has been blamed for the new sexual revolution among the youths.

Critical analysis

There exists evidence for and against comprehensive school sex education.  While sex before marriage is generally frowned upon very few youths and children toe the line. For realistic sake, then, comprehensive school sex education is thus necessary, even if it is viewed as a vice by some. Teenage pregnancies and premarital sex are real. This calls for a concerted effort to empower these young ones to protect themselves from the risks associated with sex given their naivety. Advancing abstinence only program is obviously a fool’s errand. Neither can these two programs be run concurrently since they can end up providing mixed messages to young impressionable minds.

Conclusion

Given the reality of sexual experimentation being undertaken by the children and the youth, it seems noble to support comprehensive school sex education programs globally as a way of fighting STI/HIV. It is my take that this program will positively impact the prevention efforts of the aforementioned global problem.

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  1. Kohler, P. K., Manhart, L. E., & Lafferty, W. E. (2012). Abstinence-Only and Comprehensive Sex Education and the Initiation of Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy. Journal of Adolescent Health, 42(4), 344–351.
  2. Schmidt, S. C., Wandersman, A., & Hills, K. J. (2015). Evidence-based sexuality education programs in schools: Do they align with the National Sexuality Education Standards? American Journal of Sexuality Education, 10(2), 177–195.
  3. Stanger-Hall, K. F., & Hall, D. W. (2011). Abstinence-only education and teen pregnancy rates: Why we need comprehensive sex education in the U.S. PLoS ONE, 6(10).
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