Although nationwide teen pregnancy rates are decreasing, 249,078 babies were born to women ages 15 to 19 in the United States. Sex education is the determining factor in decreasing teen pregnancies and decreasing sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Only 24 states in the United States legally require public schools to teach sex education and HIV education. Furthermore, only 20 states require that their sex education is medically, factually, or technically accurate.
Personally, I attended a Catholic middle school, and our sex education was less than perfect. Teenagers and young adults are going to have sex, they just are. Sex prevention is not sex education, teaching about sex is not encouraging sex, it is teaching safe and responsible sex. From my previous experiences, sex education consisted of discussions of abstinence and chastity. Young adults are going to have sex, and it is unrealistic to assume that all teenagers will practice abstinence, so we need to teach them how to have sex responsibly and safe.
Teaching sex prevention will not prevent abortions, use of condoms, or other use of other contraceptives. Having sex responsibly will decrease the need for abortions and usage of Plan-B pills. Teaching abstinence will not prevent teenagers from having sex. Personally, I learned that condoms won’t work, and that you don’t need them because you won’t have sex until marriage, and that was the extent of my sex education. Many sex education programs taught in middle schools are not realistically applicable later on in life.
41% of young adults had sexual intercourse, and 43% of that 41% had not used a condom, and 14% did not use any method to prevent pregnancy. Schools teach about HIV, but many do not teach on how to prevent HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases.
Proper and medically accurate sex education is the necessary solution to decrease teen pregnancies and teenage cases of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Teenagers will have sex, and the only way to teach them how to have sex responsibly is through factually correct sex education from medical professionals.