When only 13 states in the nation require sex education to be medically accurate, a lot is left up to interpretation in teenage health literacy. Research published by the Public Library of Science shows that when sex education is comprehensive, students feel more informed, make safer choices and have healthier outcomes — resulting in fewer unplanned pregnancies and more protection against sexually transmitted diseases and infection. Of course many young students pick up sexual health information from sources other than school — parents, peers, medical professionals, social media and pop culture. However, public schools are the best opportunity for adolescents to access formal information.
Carnal knowledge: The sex ed debate
School sex education negative and out of touch, says study
Many students say the sex and relationship education in their schools can be negative and "heterosexist," and the way teachers approach the subject is ineffective, according to a review of international research. The researchers reviewed 48 studies of students, young adults or adults age 25 and younger recalling their experiences of school-based sex and relationship education. They included studies conducted between and in the U. In general, people recalled their schools as reluctant to acknowledge that sex is potentially embarrassing, instead treating it like any other subject. Young people said the lessons made them feel vulnerable, with young men afraid to appear inexperienced and young women risking sexual harassment if they participated. Schools often did not accept that students were already sexually active, according to some students.
Perceived Advantages and Disadvantages of Sex Education in Young Women: A Qualitative Study
Pound P, et al. BMJ Open. Children and adolescents in nearly a dozen countries around the world view their school-based sex and relationship education as negative, out of touch, heterosexist and taught by poorly trained, often embarrassed teachers, which in turn reduces opportunities to improve their sexual health , according to data published in BMJ Open. The researchers further concluded that sex and relationship education should be sex-positive and delivered by experts who maintain clear boundaries with students. In addition, unless schools acknowledge the uniqueness of sex as a subject in the classroom, as well as the fact that some students may be sexually active, young people will continue to disengage.
Comprehensive sex education CSE is a sex education instruction method based on-curriculum that aims to give students the knowledge, attitudes, skills and values to make appropriate and healthy choices in their sexual lives. CSE is also designed with the intention of reducing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, as well as lowering rates of domestic and sexual violence , thus contributing to a healthier society, both physically and mentally. Comprehensive sex education ultimately promotes sexual abstinence as the safest sexual choice for young people. However, CSE curriculums and teachers are still committed to teaching students about topics connected to future sexual activity, such as age of consent , safe sex , contraception such as: birth control , abortion , and use of condoms. Additionally, comprehensive sex education curricula may include discussions surrounding pregnancy outcomes such as parenting, adoption, and abortion.