Sex Education (Sex Ed) is often a neglected topic found in the American education system. Often regulated to a short class within Physical Education (PE) classes for barely a month per school year, many students are usually left without much understanding of their own bodies. A general lack of Sex Ed among youth makes them susceptible to unknowingly contracting and/or spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and partaking in unprotected sex that may result in unwanted pregnancies. Sex Ed is vital to the health and safety of growing teens. This stresses an importance to why designated Sex Ed classes should be required in schools.
Sex Ed is meant to teach growing adolescents about how their bodies function and about everything revolving around the topic of sex. The concept is often omitted in households mainly due to the household’s religious beliefs, plain negligence, or a general lack of knowledge regarding Sex Ed. Many teens aren’t comfortable sharing their frustrations or asking questions of maturing with their caretakers, leaving them to learn for themselves, often with dire consequences at times.
A general understanding of bodily functions helps teens engage in safer sexual intercourse. Studies conducted by the CDC have shown that nearly 50% of people who have STDs had contracted it as a teen. Although the rate of teen pregnancy has been falling roughly 5% yearly since the 1900s according to the WHO and CDC, pregnancy is still a serious matter, especially with maturing teens. Designated Sex Ed classes for teens could potentially further reduce the likelihood of teen pregnancy and STD contraction in youth through accessible education.
Though it could be argued that incorporating designated Sex Ed classes into schools just puts further strain on their limited budget. Schools often incorporate Sex Ed into PE classes temporarily, saving money while educating teens on the basics of Sex Ed, leaving no purpose for an entire class to be focusing on the subject. While that is reasonable, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Sex Ed is vital to keeping teens informed and safe. The pseudo Sex Ed classes that are shoved into the middle of PE classes often provide little to no substantial information due to limited class time, leaving a false sense of understanding in teens. Sex Ed is a topic that needs time to be understood, especially with the life-altering consequences that pregnancy and STDs could have on the lives of teens.
Sex Ed is a vital class that is often absent on the roster of many schools. Teaching teens sensitive information about their bodies, it aims to prevent cases of unwanted pregnancy and slow the spread of fatal STDs. Many teens find themselves confused about their own bodies, often without a trusted parent or guardian to discuss such topics. Designated Sex Ed classes should be required in schools, protecting teens and keeping them informed.