Teaching Sex Education In School: To Be Or Not To Be

By Sheryl Eleazar | Last Updated January 25, 2013

Sex Education has been a topic in debates. Find out what the opposing groups of pro and anti have to say about their respective positions.

Sheryl Eleazar

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Students participating in classroom discussions

… young people face a barrage of confusing messages. Along with titillating images from the media, some kids are told to “just say no” to sex. In school, others are taught how to put condoms on bananas in preparation for the real thing, and still other children receive no information whatsoever. 1  

Sex Education can be described as education or teachings revolving around sex and relationships.  Its purpose is to impart knowledge, to form beliefs and attitudes, to build relationships, intimacy and sexual identity.  There are a lot of things to be known regarding sex such as human anatomy, intercourse, reproductive health, responsibilities and rights.  Although these are essentially what sex education is all about, many are still debating whether or not the topic should be a part of school curriculum.

The battle between supporters and detractors of sex education has been going for a long time. It is a controversial issue and topic of argument in several countries.  Below are some important areas on sex education that “Pros” and “Antis” are standing their ground for. Continue reading to either back up your belief or to finally understand the whole issue.

The Pros’ Points

If we are to make an impact on children and young people before they become sexually active, comprehensive sexuality education must become part of the formal school curriculum… – International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education 

Children Are Provided With Correct Knowledge. It is needless to say that ignorance leads us to wrong assumptions that often result to mistakes and misjudgments.  When kids are adequately informed about sex, misinformation is reduced. They are empowered with correct knowledge.

Children Are Taught Of Preventive Measures. Sex education programs carried out effectively also serve as powerful tools in helping them prevent being infected by the HIV virus and other illnesses resulting from unsafe, inappropriate sexual decisions.  Although a proper education program alone will not totally eliminate the issue on AIDS, it can greatly help lower the risks and vulnerabilities.

Children Are Armed With Skills To Make The Right Decisions. Again, lack of knowledge can lead to misjudgments. If children will be taught about the consequences they would possibly suffer from, they will become more cautious in making decisions.  They can make informed choices in life and not just on intercourse alone. They will know that sexual activities come not only with pleasures, but also responsibilities.

Misconceptions Will Be Rectified. A person’s attitude and set of values were conceived and formed by what they see and hear from other people. Sex education aims to straighten out any misconception of society about sex and other things related to it. Such misconceptions and wrong beliefs may be carried out by the child until his adulthood, resulting to wrong decisions he/she may regret forever.

If teachers and parents support each other in implementing a guided and structured teaching/learning process, the chances of personal growth for children and young people are likely to be much better. 2

Communication Between Parents And Children Will Be Increased. Children will most definitely discuss what they have been taught in school with their parents or with adults they trust.  Without sex education in school, they will feel shy and uncertain in even mentioning sexual matters with their parents. With participation of parents in the program, morals and values will be better instilled in children.

Exercise Your Facial Muscles

Coming home from school, a teenage girl raises to her mother about a topic she and her friend discussed on the way home,

‘Mom, is it true that babies will come out from the same place where boys insert their penises into?’

The mother, feeling relieved that she does not need to raise it up and explain it to her daughter, replied

‘Yes, dear.’

The daughter replied, ‘Oh, would all my teeth fall out when I have a baby?’

The Antis’ Counter

Sex Ed Programs Will Only Lead To Untimely Sex. This is a common fear among parents, that their children will start exploring sex at very young age. Some parents believe that exposing kids to this subject will only stir their curiosity, thus, compel them to untimely engage in the act.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has outraged many parents by requiring children, including kindergartners, to be subjected to a program called Talking About Touching (TAT)… 3  

Children Will Be Driven To Use Contraception.  This is an issue that is taken seriously by religious groups and pious individuals. Some religions are greatly against the use of artificial methods in preventing unwanted pregnancy. This is also a ground why some parents disapprove sex education; because they do not want their children to be negatively affected or eventually resist their parental beliefs.

Sex Education Will Contradict With Beliefs And Morals. This is in relation with the previous entry. Rather than opting to abstain from sex, young people would resort to using contraceptive methods such as condoms and pills just to give in to carnal pleasures.

Children Will Be Deprived Of Their Innocence. Educating kids at an early age about a taboo topic, their innocence is tainted unnecessarily. Their minds are polluted that may move them to indulge their curiosity to try the act once or force another child to do it.

Teachers May Lack The Proper Skills Or Motivation To Teach It. Teachers could be parents, too, who are against teaching sexuality to their students. They might also be in favor of the program, yet are not comfortable in talking about it to children. Whichever scenario there could be, it is likely that the teaching capability and skills of teachers may be hampered.

…Because Laughing Can Be A Good Facial Exercise…

There were three boys who received their final grades from their female instructor in Sex Education.

Boy 1 – D+

Boy 2 – D-

Boy 3 – F

Naturally, they were very disappointed with the grades they received.

Boy 1: She needs to repay us for this…

Boy 2: Let us grab her…

Boy 3: ..and kick her in the balls!

Personally, I support the Pro group. Some of us, when we hear the word ‘sex’, we immediately think about lewd and obscene acts. However, sex is more than just arousal and penetration. Many things have to be understood about sex. When sex education is implemented, it does not mean that children will be straightforwardly taught on how the sexual act is performed. For every level and age, there are specific topics about sexuality that will be tackled.

Comprehensive sexuality education provides a complete message.  It is a developmentally appropriate sexuality education that covers but is not limited to educating people about anatomy, sexual behaviors, pregnancy prevention strategies and gender roles. 4  

How about you, what’s your stand?




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