Compare and Contrast Essay Sample on Sex Education Versus Abstinence

Published: 2022-12-15
Compare and Contrast Essay Sample on Sex Education Versus Abstinence
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Education Human sexuality
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1720 words
15 min read

Sex education is a program that people acquire information, motivation, and skills to undertake a healthy decision about sexuality and sex. There are different programs that facilitate sex education in various countries. Sex education may also refer to high quality learning and teaching about different topics and acquiring the skills that are essential in navigating through the relationships and enhance individual sexual health (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2011). Sex education often takes place in the community settings, schools or on the online platforms. In the modern technological world, sex education is common in different social media platform. In other words, most people find social media to be the best platform as they encourage social practices. Most of the sex education programs recognize parents as the major players in enhancing sex education. Comprehensive sexuality education often covers a broad range of topics from relationships, personal skills, sexual behaviors and health to human development. Sexual abstinence refers to the choice to avoid engaging in any form of genital contacts for several reasons (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2011). The choice not to participate in sexual intercourse is usually made for specific religious, moral, legal, or even health reasons. In other words, abstinence is the act of not having sex, however, this may depend on the personal decision on which form of sex not to engage in.

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Almost every person has an opinion about sex education. From parents at home to those in charge of different governmental organizations, there are diverse perspectives about sexuality education and sexual abstinence. There has always been a debate on whether to increase funding towards the abstinence programs until people get married or to invest more on the sexuality education that may help teenagers and the students or even the adults to understand different aspects of sexual intercourse. The decision to decide on sex education or to focus on sexual education depends on the kinds of programs that are in place. However, abstaining from sexual intercourse may prove to be difficult given the instant physiological process that may prove to be difficult to control. Sex education is important since it will give people, information, motivation, and skills to enable people to undertake healthy decision about sex (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2011). Choosing between initiating sexual education programs and abstinence programs have become very difficult for different programs geared towards enhancing sexual health among school, children, students, and even adults. In the United States of America, between the year 1996 and 2009, the federal government in collaboration with the state governments, spent over 1.5 billion US dollars to enhance abstinence programs and there was a volatile mixture (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2011). Sexuality education, in different ways, has taken different concepts, policies, and laws when it comes to the implementation programs. In other words, it is perceived as the most viable approach to enhancing sexual health and well-being. Sex education reveals the skills that may even help an individual in the latter part of life. It arms an individual with the necessary skills that they can use to ensure healthy living.

Sex education, unlike abstinence programs, is appropriate to different ages, cultural backgrounds, and developmental levels. It also respects the diversity of beliefs and values represented in most communities. In schools, the school-based sex education augments and complements the sexuality education that students or children obtain from their families, community, religious groups, and health professionals. In some cases, sex education may incorporate abstinence, this, therefore, means that abstinence is part of sex education. Sex education involves a broader perspective including contraception such as emergency contraception. Sex education also touches on the reproductive choices, gay, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgender. Sex education enables the target audience to understand themselves including the physiological changes that take place within their bodies. It entails questioning issues which involve anatomy, development, relationships, puberty, and many other different issues that are covered in the traditional sexuality education programs. Additionally, comprehensive sexual education is science-based and in most cases, it is regarded as medically accurate. Supporters of abstinence-only strive to develop an environment where people or children are prepared to avoid sexual intercourse since they believe that this is the only way of avoiding early pregnancy and sexuality transmitted diseases which often threatens the lives of young people. However, this may not be a viable approach as children will not be able to understand the sexual life and all that it entails. Sex education also advocates for abstinence to some extent and it also enables children and different young people to have knowledge about sexual health and well-being. Aside from talking only about sexual intercourse, it covers different physiological approaches that enable children to reflect on their lives and define their future life.

In many cases, abstinence programs do not explain some of the concepts of sex education. Sex education may also involve teaching on HIV programs and how other sexuality transmitted disease may impact the body. HIV is the most widespread sexual infection in the world and currently, stands at more than fifty percent prevalence rate in Africa. This infection, which attacks the immune system and renders the body defenseless, is now attributed to being the most dangerous infection ever seen. World Health Organization reported in 2014 that an estimated 40 million people were infected with the disease possibly meaning more than 50 million are infected by the time. In Africa, Kenya is one of the average populous countries and already has more than 1.6 million people living with the disease. Most of the abstinence programs, therefore, may use the nature of diseases such as HIV to discourage people from engaging in sexual intercourse, a scenario which may not be viable. Sex education may enable children and different young people to understand ways of dealing with sexually transmitted diseases (Elia & Eliason, 2010). Through sex education, they are able to understand the preventive measures and different ways to avoid contracting the disease through sexual intercourse. Through sex education, children are able to understand the use of contraception and different medications that may reduce the instances of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

Sex education comes with many benefits unlike the abstinence programs especially when it comes to prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. When it comes to the HIV prevention programs, the role played by sex educators is essential. They will always educate the victims on the importance of medication and medication adherence. In many cases, it is critical to the sex educator to understand different aspects of the HIV because they usually work with specific groups of people such as the African American women who are prone to stigmatization and are largely underserved. While dealing with the HIV patients, sex educators need to understand the needs of stigmatized and marginalized groups of people, in this case, the African American Woman and Kenyan women to impact change and increase access to the medical services and care (Elia & Eliason, 2010). Understanding the above topic will, therefore, assist the health educators in maintaining adherence by accompanying the victims to their medical appointments and providing group facilitation through one to one support. In most cases, health educators link clients to medical care appointments, health care, psychosocial services and other medical services that are essential for clients in achieving good health outcomes.

Focusing on sexual abstinence as a way of discouraging sexual intercourse among children and young people fails in different ways. First, it is continuously becoming impractical. In an attempt to persuade people to abstain from sexual intercourse until they get married is becoming difficult due to social trends. In most countries, the majority of children engage in sexual intercourse. For instance, in the United States of America, the average age when young people engages in sexual intercourse is eighteen and below for women and just over eighteen for boys. However, the median age of when people get married is much higher, 29 years for women and 26 years for women (Lindberg & Maddow-Zimet, 2012). The gap has however increased significantly due to social changes as well as the prevalence of premarital sex. Additionally, there is no evidence that abstinence actually works for the purpose that it was created for. Sex education overshadows the concept of abstinence in that it entails various approaches that may shape an individual both social and morally (Elia & Eliason, 2010). Through sex education, children get to interact with moral and values of the society and this can enhance social uprightness which may automatically create a sense of abstinence among young people. The idea of abstinence often delay the age of the first sexual intercourse or even reduce the number of partners that those in adolescence might have.

Although there are different programs that support the abstinence as a way of discouraging sexual intercourse among children and to prevent early pregnancies and related sexually transmitted diseases, there is lack of evidence that support the important metrics (Elia & Eliason, 2010). With abstinence, there is evidence of sexual instances among the adolescence, there is also evidence of pregnancies among young girls and even the infections from different sexually transmitted diseases (Lindberg & Maddow-Zimet, 2012). Human adolescents indicate increased activation as compared to adults and children. This, therefore, may overcome abstinence option where children are forced to stay away from sex until they get married. In many cases, the reward value is not absolute and instead, the rewards are appreciated based on the availability of other reward-seeking behaviors. Adolescents may be specifically sensitive to the above changes. The reward system during adolescence often undergoes dramatic developmental changes and in the process, the exact features of the maturational become difficult to determine and instead, requires further analysis through alternative approaches (Lindberg & Maddow-Zimet, 2012). Sex education provides education on how to control body reactions and aligns ones thinking towards safe sex. In most cases, sex education programs do not encourage young people or school-going children to engage in sex, but instead, they equip them will skill to overcome attempts of sex which may either lead to early pregnancy or contraction of sexually transmitted diseases (Lindberg & Maddow-Zimet, 2012). During development, the reward system usually experiences significant changes in the adolescent stage; this is due to the presence of dopamine which is usually hyper-responsive or in other words, over-engaged in response to rewards during adolescence development. These physiological changes may, therefore, interfere with the abstinence programs put in place to safeguard children and those who have not reached the age of marriage.

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