Sex is huge, sex is important; everyone cares and has something to say about sex. Sex sells. Sex is an immense part of life for almost everyone in the nation and the world, including youth. Teens hear about sex from their friends, from the shows they watch on television, from the music they listen to, and sometimes, once in a while, they hear about it as discussed by their parents and teachers in an educational context. In a Center For Disease Control (CDC) report from the year 2000, about 65% of 19 year-old teens were currently sexually active, with another 20% unsure if they would chose to be active or not in the near future, and only the remaining 15% choosing to be abstinent from sex at this age. Obviously the majority of teens are engaging in some nature of sexual activity at a relatively early age, and therefore it is important that they learn about the consequences associated with sex and about safe sexual practices, like using protection and being informed about sexual transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy. It was reported by the Alan Guttmacher Institute that approximately 4 in 10 young women in the U.S. become pregnant at least once before turning 20 years old. It was also reported that in the U.S., one in four sexually active teens become infected with an STD every year. With alarming statistics such as these, it is a given that these teens must be well informed before making a decision that could very well alter their lives.
The overwhelming majority of parents and other adults surveyed believe that some form of sex education should be taught in schools today. When asked "Would you be for or against sex education in the public schools?" in 2004 by the General Social Survey (GSS) over 90% of the respondents were in favor of sex education rather than against it. However, the important issue here, that there is much disagreement on, is how this education should be presented, and what it should include, or not include.
Should schools teach that abstinence is the key, or should they go with a more open approach and simply offer advice on how to be safe in sexual practices? Should schools and doctors distribute information on birth control, and make condoms readily available to students? Should the topic of homosexuality be included in discussions about sex in schools today? These are all important questions where there is no directly right answer.
However, one thing is undeniably true, that having sex as a teenager opens a greater chance for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and perhaps the most prevalent issue, immense impact on a teen's psyche, as at this point in their lives they are not only still growing physically, but are still growing emotionally as well.
This study will look into what methods are currently being undertaken in schools today to teach America's youth about sex, and how parents, school officials, and other adults feel about these methods. Primarily this...