Type: Exploratory
Pages: 4 | Words: 1194
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Education would be defined as the acquisition of knowledge from an institution that observes legal regulation, uses an approved curriculum and examines the students or the society with standardized tests. Education in the twenty-first century is characterized by a shift towards extraordinary commitment to addressing emerging issues in the society at large. Sex education is also a life process of gaining, forming values and attitudes to sexual development, reproductive health, intimacy, interpersonal relationships, and body image and gender roles.

According to Fraser, debates on whether to offer sex education have existed with opposition going as early as 1960’s. Advocators for sex education hold the view that too many parents live in denial about their children having sex. They also ignore it and consider it a fantasy. Hence the solution, to teenage sex issues is addressed through sex education. Many parents do not approve sex education to children at school. They think it is inappropriate to teach a child about sex when they do not even know what sex is all about. Others think it should be a parent’s choice to inform their own child.

A survey that questioned 2000 parents of children aged 5 to 11 in the United States found that 59% do not consent with sex education to be taught to children in schools from a young age. Of the parents interviewed, 48% of those questioned said children should attain 13 years old before they are taught about sex. For those that do not concur that sex education should be taught in schools, 48% per cent saw it inappropriate to teach teenagers about sex, whereas one in four, which is 28% considers that it should be the parents’ freedom to teach their child about sex. Irvine (29) noted that a similar proportion of 27% saw no need for children to know about sex. Since in most countries across the world there is no law requiring schools to teach sex education, the decisions are left to the states and individual school districts. Making these decisions has elicited oppositions with the following points of view:

Many people term the sex education programs as immoral and destructive of human belief. They term it as teaching raw sex. It is deemed to have a purpose to undermine morals of the youth hence promoting pornography and anxiety of the unknown among children. Therefore, sex education should not be thought without teaching religious morality. This education should be left to the family. Hence, the kids may learn about HIV/AIDS but not about any other STDs, how to prevent pregnancy with the control pills, homosexuality among others.

Halstead & Monica, (48) both affirm that sex education’s objectives are not being met, and this is evidenced by a high number of teenage pregnancies and continuing spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Incorporating sexual responsibility, teachings in the school curriculum can fail to be effective as most teens find it even fashionable to forget what they are taught in schools. Most of these teenagers consider the media to be best in sex education particularly televisions, films and magazines.

In the late 1970s, a more a modulated approach in regard to sex education was adopted. This groups led by Phyllis Schlafly and her Eagle Forum found out that sex education in public schools encouraged sexual activity, advanced teenage pregnancy, advocated for abortion, and lacked a moral stand. For instance, in 1981 Schlafly wrote in her monthly newsletter that the key goal of all sex education curricula in the schools was to teach teenagers on how to enjoy fornication without the responsibilities that come with premarital sex. According to Williams, sex education promotes unacceptable behaviours that ruin the future of young children. Many of the kids get socialized to masturbation and homosexuality since they do not consider it to have any implications. Sex education in public schools encourages abortions and the varieties of contraception.

In early 1984, there was strong opposition to sexual education in public schools. Many groups felt that sex education programs violated the Hatch Amendment that prohibited schools from psychological testing of students. Schlafly argued that, classroom training given across the country in the form of sex education was a violation of the law. Other groups agitating for the removal of sex education from public schools were Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority among others. They pushed for the ban of sex education programs in public schools, which were being run without parental consent. The group rejected sex education programs that do not uphold Judeo-Christian rules or that focuses on liberal sex education

The major concern about the sex education taught in the public schools was the humanistic approach given, without the attention of traditional moral values and the upholding of social norms. Many believed it was not fair to allow values of millions of young people be corrupted by the humanistic sex education programs in the public schools. There is also a view that sex education should not be an open discussion by a teacher as in schools, but taught on one to one. Open discussion to sexual practice and relationships among younger teenagers encourages sexual activity before they are ready, by adding to peer pressure, and devalues its own message because of the risk of classroom ridicule. Therefore, it is better to discuss sexual responsibility with older siblings or parents or other youth programs.

Opposition to sex education advocates so much on abstaining from sex as the best way to avoid STDs and early pregnancy. Sex education on the other hand, rejects the approach teaching abstinence. Sexual promiscuity is encouraged not controlled by sex education; advocating for safe sex on one hand dilutes the message of restraint on the other. Children are at risk of severe psychological and physiological harm form having sex too young and should be encouraged not to by abstaining

Sex education has also been deemed unfit to be taught in schools because it exposes young children to a lot so soon. Comprehensive sex education involves much more than a motive about menstruation and a class reproduction. It begins in kindergarten and continues to high school. However, it does not solve problems associated with teenage sex, does not respond to real life circumstances of teenagers today, and has failed to achieve its stated goals.

In conclusion, sex education in schools has it’s own cons, in most cases; the education is taught as a break in physical education. This is little time to relate effectively to serious material; sexual education goes against moral beliefs and convictions of an individual. Many institutions do not tackle abstinence-only, but also teach about having sex safely, whereas some of the religious and families stress on marriage before intercourse, sex education is in most cases seen as a recreational course making it a less serious issue. In cases where sex education is forced into the curriculum, it is the legal obligation of every educator is to apply individual judgments in education to ensure that concepts are applied with logic and the seriousness it deserves. The trainers are not adequately prepared to teach about sexual education and may violate their own convictions or morals on the subject rather than ongoing with the facts. Additionally, it is also difficult to alleviate the negative attitude from parents.

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