Sex Education in the United States Essay

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Many sexually active teens are never educated on the dangers of unprotected sex, because their schools do not teach this kind of education. Could changing this lead to less sexually transmitted infections or teenage pregnancy? Teaching options could ensure more safety to teenagers. Should sex education be taught in public schools in the United States, and if so, what kind of education is the best choice for today’s teenagers?
There are three basic types of sex education. The most widely spoken about and taught is called abstinence based sex education. An abstinence-only approach to sex education teaches teens and young adults that not having sex until marriage is the best or only way to effectively avoid sexually transmitted
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In the United States, in 2002, more than one in five teens received abstinence education without receiving instruction about birth control (Guttmacher 1). Can young adults make choices that could affect them forever without knowing all of the options and being fully educated? Also in 2002 more than nine in ten teachers stated that they believe students should be taught about contraception, but one in four is not allowed to do so (Guttmacher 2). This is presumably because of school policies and limitations on sex education, but is these rules and regulations fair? Should teachers be educating students about other or all sex education? Statistics on sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy among teens are often proof that sex education would have a positive effect. Of the approximately 750,000 teen pregnancies that happen each year, 82% are unintended. Could this have been avoided with better education and knowledge given to teens? Also, teen pregnancy rates have declined from 12% of sexually active teens getting pregnant in 1995, to 8% of teens getting pregnant in 2002. 86% of this decline was due to an increase in teen’s contraceptive use (Guttmacher 1). The government has an eight-point definition of abstinence-only education that requires programs to teach that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, for any age (Guttmacher 3). New federal

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