Our youth today are growing up in a culture that surrounds them with sexual imagery and messages—but one in which marriage is often delayed until the late twenties or later. Historically, public health prevention messages have singled out abstinence until marriage as the most effective way to remain free of sexually transmitted infections STIs. Abstinence is a fundamentally important aspect of preventing STIs, but this message alone does not serve well in the absence of comprehensive sexual education and a supportive environment. ASHA believes young people deserve balanced, accurate, and realistic sex education, as well as access to confidential sexual health services. Research also shows that sex education programs that promote abstinence-only have proven ineffective. However, reviews have found that none of the programs has shown a positive impact on sexual behavior or STDs over time.
Sex education , sometimes referred to as sexuality education, is any process dedicated to providing information about sexual techniques, practices, and health or human sexuality. However, the term is usually used to refer to sex education for children—either at home or in school. There is a wide variety of examples of sex education. These include a parent explaining to his or her child where babies come from, a friend telling another friend about how to use a condom, or a teacher lecturing his or her students about the risks of sexually-transmitted diseases. Students in the United States often take sex education classes in middle or high school, and the content of these classes varies widely. Some schools may require parental permission before students can take sex education. There is significant debate in the United States about the types of sex education children should receive.
My parents never brought up the subject of sex with me. Like, ever. I think they hoped that if they never mentioned anything about it, I would just magically avoid learning about my body and penises until I turned But I did learn about sex early on — in fact, I already had a rudimentary idea of what sex was before I had to take sex ed in high school.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC survey indicates that more than 47 percent of all high school students say they have had sex, and 15 percent of high school students have had sex with four or more partners during their lifetime. Among students who had sex in the three months prior to the survey, 60 percent reported condom use and 23 percent reported birth control pill use during their last sexual encounter. Sexual activity has consequences. Though the teen birth rate has declined to its lowest levels since data collection began, the United States still has the highest teen birth rate in the industrialized world.