Sex Education
In today\'s society there is an on going debate over sex education and its
influence on our children. "The question is no longer should sex education
be taught, but rather how it should be taught" (DeCarlo). With teenage
pregnancy rates higher than ever and the imminent threat of the contraction of

STD\'s, such as HIV, the role of sex education in the school is of greater
importance now then ever before. By denying children sex education you are in a
sense sheltering them from the harsh realities they are bound to encounter. Sex
education has become an essential part of the curriculum and by removing the
information provided by this class we\'ll be voluntarily putting our children in
danger. During the teenage years every boy and girl undergo major changes in the
body that most of the time need explaining. This underscores one of the most
evident reasons for sexual education being taught to students. Sex education can
help children to cope with the many changes caused by the onset of puberty. One
such example is a female\'s first menstruation and the uneasiness they feel. If
this girl had been informed of this change prior to its onset, then her ability
to accept and understand it would be greatly enhanced. Hormonal and physical
changes in the body begin without warning and a child needs to know why these
changes are occurring. Lindsell 2 Students are taught about the anatomy of the
human body and how and why it works the way it does. Knowing and understanding
how ones body works is a fundamental part any persons life and ability to gain
this knowledge should not be removed. At the beginning of puberty hormones start
rushing and all teenagers begin to experience sexual urges. It\'s not something
anyone, including a parent or teacher, can control. It\'s a natural function of
the body and has been since the beginning of time. With this hormone rush comes
experimentation among teenagers. They begin to explore their bodies along with
the bodies of other people. "You can\'t prevent teenagers from having sex,
no matter what you preach. If students are having sex they might as well do it
the safe way. It\'s a way for schools to show that they actually care," says

Shauna Ling-Choung (qt. Richardson "When sex_" B1). Students need the
support from schools to know they have somewhere to go for the good or bad. With
sex education classes the students are taught about various methods of
contraception, including abstinence. By teaching the students about the many
types of contraception, the chance of contraceptives being used is greatly
increased. Many schools have recently begun programs to distribute condoms to
students in their schools in order to hopefully increase the use of condoms. A
recent study shows that the availability of condoms in schools did in fact
increase condom use. Condom access is a "low-cost harmless addition"
to our current sex education programs (Richardson "Condoms in_" B8).

When thinking of sex education for our children, the cliché‚ "better
safe than sorry" should immediately come to mind. Along with teaching
contraceptives to students the vital information of STD\'s are also Lindsell 3
taught. Currently, out of all age groups, teenagers have the highest rates of
sexually transmitted diseases, with one in four young people contracting and STD
by the age of twenty-one (DeCarlo). Included in the STD category is the HIV
virus, which is spreading at alarming rates among our teenage population.
"It is believed that at least twenty percent of new patients with AIDS were
infected during their teenage or early adult years." And still some school
leaders are trying to remove our best means of prevention of the disease: sex
education (Roye 581) Teachers are able to educate students with the correct
information on the many types of sexually transmitted diseases that exist in the
world today. False information about ways of contracting diseases, symptoms of
and treatments of STDs, and preventative measures are weeded out and students
receive the accurate information about sexually transmitted diseases. Protection
of our children from sexually transmitted diseases should start in the classroom
where it can be assured that the correct and critical information will be
provided to them. Nobody likes to be talked to like they are a child, and by
denying teenagers sexual education, schools are in a sense talking down to them.

By teaching them the facts about sex, teenagers feel a sense of maturity because
it\'s a mature topic and they are fully aware of that. Students get the feeling
that