The Importance Of Comprehensive Sexuality Education In Schools

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Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Schools The sexual health education offered in schools across the globe ranges from complete avoidance of the topic to AO (abstinence only) education to CSE (comprehensive sexual education) and the relative merits of different programs are hotly debated. The central focus of AO programs is the message that sexual activity should be avoided until marriage, while CSE programs typically include factual information about how to prevent pregnancy and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) , along with lessons about how to handle sexual situations and healthy relationships (Alford, 2001). The ability to navigate relationships and sexual encounters and avoid possible negative consequences such as pregnancy and …show more content…
Many studies have shown significant decreases in instances of teenage pregnancy when adolescents take a CSE course, a benefit which is rarely, if ever, seen with AO programs (Constantine, 2008; Kohler et al., 2008; Rohrbach et al., 2015; Stanger-Hall and Hall, 2011). An unplanned pregnancy can be a stressful and difficult situation for people in all stages of life, but it can have particularly debilitating effects on teenagers. Approximately 50% of teen mothers will receive a high school diploma by the time they are 22, while about 90% of women who do not give birth in their teenage years will do the same (CDC, 2016). These effects extend to the children of teen mothers as well, who are more likely to have lower achievement in school, drop out, be incarcerated during their lifetime, be teen parents themselves, be unemployed, and have health problems (CDC, 2016). The impacts of teenage pregnancy can also be seen on a grand, societal scale. Teenage pregnancy results in increased health care and foster care costs, the cost of increased incarceration of the children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue due to lower education level and income of teen mothers. All these costs combined account for at least $9.4 billion in taxes in the United States of America in 2010 (CDC, 2016). Because being a teen parent is associated with negative outcomes for both individuals and their children, and has significant costs to society, and CSE programs have been shown to decrease rates of teen pregnancy, this type of education should be incorporated into health education classes in

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