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Should Children Be Taught Sex Education in School?

Parents generally have a strong opinion on whether sex should be taught in schools. Whether pro or con, these opinions are based on what the parent believes to be the responsible choice for not only their own child but for all children. Those that oppose sex education being part of the curriculum insist that it would promote sexual promiscuity by the introduction of the subject to young impressionable minds. That’s it. That’s where the reasoning begins and ends. Fortunately, the vast majority of Americans have taken the responsible viewpoint that not teaching sex-ed in schools would be indefensible.

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According to the World Health Organization, there is no data suggesting that ‘sex-ed’ courses promote increased levels of sexual activity. In addition, abstinence-only programs were substantially less effective than wide-ranging sex-ed classes which include safe-sex practices along with abstinence. These conclusions came at the end of a study conducted on 35 sexual education programs throughout the world. Nationwide research by Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute produced the same deductions. Sex-Ed classes actually reduce the instances of pregnancy. Most parents understand that increased awareness promotes only increased responsibility as, according to a 1999 study conducted by Hickman-Brown Research, 93 percent of the American population wants sex to be taught at least during high school while 84 percent say it should be taught during middle school. Most parents acknowledge the reality that young people are sexually active at an earlier age than previous generations. Today, two-thirds of U.S. high school students have experienced sex by their senior year. These teenagers are contracting and spreading sexually transmitted diseases, in part, because of their lack of knowledge. People under the age of 24 are responsible for 65 percent of all sexually transmitted infections contracted in this country according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control (Masland, 2006).

The factions opposed to sex education have imposed at least some of their will on the rest of society and the children have suffered for it. Sex education classes in America’s public schools have been scaled back so as to not offend the vocal minority. What parents want and think their kids are learning falls well short of what is actually being taught. Parents simply want their kids to know the dangers and how to avoid them, just as in any other aspect of their lives. “Contrary to common wisdom, when it comes to sex education, parents want it all, from abstinence to homosexuality,” said Steve Rabin, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation (Levine, 2000). The study by the Kaiser Foundation surveyed over a thousand secondary school kids, parents and sex-ed teachers along with more than 300 school principles. The majority of parents want schools to discuss abortion, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and the use of contraception. As a supplement to a comprehensive sex-ed program, many parents and teachers support the idea that children should be taught about the dangers regarding prostitution in an effort to advise them regarding the hazards of exploitative relationships with predatory men. According to Ramon Cortines, former chancellor of New York City public schools, “Educators should teach what students need to know, not please the advocates or the politicians who scream the loudest” (Levine, 2000). Still, conservative groups continue to ignore the well-documented facts in favor of misguided ‘moral’ intentions which have served only to endanger an increasing number of children. (Hinsliff, 2004).

It has been shown through study after study that children would greatly benefit from comprehensive sex education programs at school. The knowledge of subjects such as how sexual diseases are transmitted and the multiple issues regarding teenage pregnancy and prostitution are essential to the overall well-being of children. To stubbornly deny knowledge of sex to school-aged children to protect them from horrible consequences is a greater sin than the act of unmarried sex itself. People can only make informed, responsible decisions if they have adequate information.

Works Cited

  1. Hinsliff, Gaby. “Call for Lessons on Prostitution: Schools Should Help Children to Avoid Exploitation, Say Council Bosses.” The Neil Rogers Show. (2004).
  2. Levine, Jeff. “Parents Want More Comprehensive Sex-Ed, Survey Says.” Web MD. (2000). Web.
  3. Masland, Molly. “Carnal Knowledge: The Sex-Ed Debate.” MSNBC. 2006.

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"Should Children Be Taught Sex Education in School?" StudyCorgi, 25 Oct. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Should Children Be Taught Sex Education in School?" October 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Should Children Be Taught Sex Education in School?" October 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Should Children Be Taught Sex Education in School?" October 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Should Children Be Taught Sex Education in School'. 25 October.

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