The Abstinence And Aspects Of Sexual Education

1437 Words 6 Pages
The teenage years are a very important and influential time in a person’s life. It is during these years that an adolescent’s perception of sex, sexuality, and what is considered ‘normal’ is often times influenced by the sexual education they receive. The sexual education program commonly taught to students is abstinence, occasionally coupled with education about safe, heteronormative sex. However, the information provided is often incomplete, not presenting students with all aspects of sexuality and the realities of sex. The way sex is perceived can be determined by the way we talk to children about sex.
I was interested in examining how the sexual education people were given as adolescents and how the education affected their understanding
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When I originally started my research, I thought different ethnicities would provide significantly different results, but I was wrong. The ethnicities of the participants are as follows: 8 White, 23 Asian, 1 Middle Eastern, and 3 Latinos. Despite the varying backgrounds, ethnicities, and upbringings of the participants, most had received the same type of sexual education and held similar understandings about sex as adolescents.
A popular and frequently used sexual education program used in schools is abstinence. Teenagers are taught that they should not engage in sex before marriage and should instead wait until their wedding night to lose their virginity. Advocates of abstinence believe that only abstinence education allows youth to avoid problems and risks associated with sexual activity (Kirby 2008). These advocates often times believe teaching adolescents about sex will encourage them to have sex. However, “the proportions of adolescent women who initiate premarital intercourse […] do not differ greatly with exposure to sexual education” (Dawson, 1986). The problem with only teaching children abstinence is they are left uneducated and uninformed about sex, what to expect when they
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Students could be taught about the risks of engaging in sexual activity and the importance of using contraception, but the education is only in regard to sex between a man and a woman. Queer sexuality and the questioning of one’s sexuality are not being included (Bay-Cheng, 2010). Of the participants that took part in the survey, 13/36 received safe sex education; of those thirteen, only one participant had received information about homosexual contraception. Because they only received heterosexual education, most if not all of my participants had grown up with the belief that homosexuality or any sexuality other than heterosexual was wrong and not normal. The problem way is if a student identifies as anything other than heterosexual, they are not being provided with the knowledge needed to safely engage in sexual activity and are also not being given support or guidance. Adolescents that do not identify as heterosexual could struggle with accepting their sexuality and occasionally even struggle with identifying their sexuality because of a lack of information and education about non-heterosexual sexuality. During the teenage years, adolescents are trying their best to fit in with their peers. If a teenager identifies as queer and are only taught about heterosexuality being normal, that child might feel that they are not normal and the sexual feelings and

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