As I was thinking about aspects of my life that could have used more/helpful information, I thought of how pointless and innacurate sex ed was at the schools I attended throughout my life. Apparently, so have a lot of people. I realized in my search for information that a lot of states in the US don’t even require schools to teach this topic at all. But when they are required, the information doesn’t even need to be accurate in a lot of states.
The dominant information:
Also, of the states where sex ed is required, 25 of them must “stress” abstinence. So what’s the problem here? The problem is that the information being provided (for the most part) is intended to be used to control the kids. Sure, it’s a good cause to keep kids from getting pregnant and diseased, but this method of doing so is ineffective as it is telling the kids they don’t have a choice but to abstain or get STD’s. (Google abstinence campaigns) And if you were a girl and having sex then that would make you undesirable in society (This is a summary of what is being taught in the school district I attended). In short, telling kids not to do something, makes them want to do it. And if you are blindly telling them not to do something without providing all the information, then mistakes are bound to happen.
As one can see from the graph below, teen pregnancy rates are highest in the states where there is the most inaccurate and biased information is allowed to be taught (referring to previous graphs):
Trying to control someone causes reactance, if it is desired that kids make healthy safe choices, then the choice should not come from outside themselves. You cannot control people, so the best that can be done is provide the kids with accurate information so they can make the right choices for themselves. They can’t be safe if they don’t know how to be safe.
Another problem is that when there is a lack of information, there is a lack of understanding, and confusion arises. These abstinence campaigns also cause confusion. The kids are told it is bad to have sex, but if they want to, does that make them bad? No one thinks they want something that is wrong so here is where the confusion arises. They are being taught it is normal to abstain and putrefying to have sex, which by observation is not true. They also can’t be safe if they don’t understand themselves. That being said, if there is going to be sex ed in schools, then it should be informative and provide them with vision to understand themselves and the world around them. Only then will the risky behavior that is attempting to be minimized, be minimized.