Implement Comprehensive Sex Education Programs in Schools Nationwide
Created by Lisa Super
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Compared to most developed nations, the American public is shockingly undereducated when it comes to the human reproductive system. Reproductive rights are currently in the foreground of public policy. Just like you wouldn’t send a toddler into a calculus exam, its unrealistic to believe young Americans can make informed decisions about their reproductive systems where they have had limited, or in some cases no, prior education on the subject. It is vital to the youth of America, on both sides of the aisle, that we implement standardized, nationwide, secular, and biologically accurate programs educating young people about sex, reproduction, and contraception.
About Comprehensive Sexual Education
Sex Education is supported by the vast majority of people in the United States. National, state and local polls on sex education have shown that up to 89 percent of parents support having sex education taught in middle school, and 98 percent of parents supported having sex education taught in high school. The vast majority of parents support sex education that covers a wide range of topics, including STDs, puberty, healthy relationships, contraception, and sexual orientation.
Comprehensive sexual education is more effective than abstinence-only programs are reducing teenage pregnancy and birth rates as well as preventing sexually transmitted diseases. That is why comprehensive sex education programs are supported by numerous health and medical groups including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.
Sex Education programming varies widely across the United States. Currently, 24 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex education and 34 states mandate HIV education. Although almost every state has some guidance on how and when sex education should be taught, decisions are often left up to individual school districts.
Teens from non-white, low-income families are more likely to receive abstinence-only sex education, according to the National Survey of Family and Growth. Disadvantaged youths are also less likely to benefit from sex education programs than their peers because of lower quality and other risk factors.
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