Essay on Empowering Education: The Necessity of Comprehensive Sex Education in Public Schools

Published: 2023-12-04
Essay on Empowering Education: The Necessity of Comprehensive Sex Education in Public Schools
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Education School
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1684 words
15 min read


Sexuality has become a significant topic of discussion today, especially in relevance to the United States’ young population. Challenges like non-marital teenage pregnancies and an increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as HIV/AIDS among teens have raised concerns about a proficient way to establish an adequate sex education program. The program guides the students in a better way to manage their sexual lives. In the United States, the need to formalize sexual education came in the early 1980s after the HIV/AIDS pandemic had severely hit the country (Hall et al., 2016). However, sex education is not practiced in all schools, as people have different opinions. This paper argues that sex education should be supported and implemented in all institutions. It would give both students and instructors more sense of knowledge and desire to understand the basis and importance of sexual activities in United States society.

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Sex education should be offered more than other non-conventional courses. For instance, in the last decade, 36 percent of the public high schools in the United States provided sex education, while 24 percent of nonpublic offered the same instruction. It shows that various institutions recognize the program as an essential tool in a student's life. Some surveys also demonstrated that it is even offered more frequently than other academic courses (Lindberg et al., 2016). However, the main problem comes in recognizing the appropriate and efficient way to conduct education. These include questions like; what topics should students be subjected to; will sex education provide positive results in the society at large; do parents and guardians support the system? Finally, what is the student's view of sexual education? As this essay tries to establish and outline the mentioned topic, it will also support why sex education is an imperative tool in the United States education system.

For a long time now, sexual education has been subject to political and educational discussions. Controversies have arisen based on whether the family or the school is the appropriate sex educator (Lindberg et al., 2016). Issues have also come up on the topics to be discussed. The most controversial issues in sexual education in the US today include; homosexuality, masturbation, contraception, and abortion. Although the issues may be controversial, they form an excellent teaching base on sex education (Lindberg et al., 2016). Regarding these topics, some of the teachers are discouraged from taking up high positions in the sex education sector and are also in fear that some of the parents may find them objectionable to what they say. These controversies have resulted in a lack of a proper sex education system, and also at some point, it has encouraged a negative impression on the sex education program.

Public schools are the most appropriate place to acquire sexual education even though there are other sexual information sources, including; parents, peers, and medical professionals. In the 1990s, the US government implemented the AOUM (abstinence-only until marriage) program to improve adolescent's sexual health. Through this program, it was seen that student's receipt of the program had increased, which had a positive impact on society since cases of teenage pregnancies had reduced (Hall et al., 2016). Abstinence is considered a more efficient way teenagers may avoid pregnancies and other sexual health disadvantages. A study shows that the sex education technique that emphasizes abstinence only showed detailed results as it helped delay sexual activity of a short period. The survey indicates that the program may help today's society and provide students with appropriate ways to abstain from irresponsible sexual behavior (Lindberg, Maddow-Zimet & Boonstra, 2016).

Topics in Sex Education

The controversial issues mentioned earlier are not the only relevant topics the sex educator can offer. There are myriad topics that can be provided in sex education curricula. The most common issue is venereal diseases, which outline conditions resulting from unhealthy sexual behavior (Lindberg et al., 2016). Other relevant topics include; teenage pregnancy, drug, and alcohol, puberty changes, anatomy, and physiology. In most cases, problems that may result in controversial discussions are often left out, and students ought to acquire all necessary education regardless of any challenges.

It is advisable to group the topics with similar characteristics under one group for proper evaluation and extensive analysis of the issues mentioned, which would provide instructors with a good overview of the issues to be taught. The grouping may be categorized as follows:

  1. First, the controversial topics are to be grouped under one category. The subjects include; masturbation, homosexuality, and rape.
  2. Secondly, topics like abortion, alternatives to abortion, and contraceptives should be under one group.
  3. Thirdly, topics related to sexual morality. It would include subjects like; what is the religious view on sexuality? Laws regarding sexuality in the country and societal perspective on sexual morality.

Topics that concern the biological view on sexuality are to be included under a similar category. The issues may include: pregnancy, adolescent stages, anatomy and physiology, venereal diseases, and childbirth. Grouping such subjects under one category provides a more straightforward method for both the instructor and the students to comprehend the topics' information.

Lastly, categorize topics dealing with social development under one category. Such include; issues related to dating, marriage, and lastly, matters dealing with love

The topics grouped have a more connection compared to the ones in different groups. However, some of the issues share characteristics with others from different categories. For instance, teenage pregnancy is commonly taught in conjunction with other varieties that include abortion and sexual morality issues. This disparity may affect the emphasis conducted on the problems and may result in a lack of proper analysis of other topics.

It is essential to cover all the topics mentioned. An intensive evaluation of the issues will provide a well-rounded student. A recent survey conducted shows that most instructors in the United States do not cover contraceptives and sexual values (Lindberg, Maddow-Zimet & Boonstra, 2016). The two topics form important primary sex education. However, several institutions teach on social development, human reproduction, and contraceptives-related matters. Few institutions admitted to providing all topics on sexual morality. Today's government should enhance and provide full curriculum coverage measures in institutions. One way is to regulate and ensure that the sex instructors are of the expected standards to provide teaching services and ensure that institutions follow a common curriculum in sex education.

Public schools in the United States should embark on a comprehensive sex education system. In the last decade, sex education has gradually changed from comprehensive programs to abstinence-based programs in institutions. The abstinence-based program emphasizes a monogamous society as advocates state that it discourages sexual frequency (Carr & Packham, 2017). However, critics argue that sexual engagement among the youth is independent of the school curriculum. Neither comprehensive nor abstinence is correlated with early pregnancies; however, findings show that a comprehensive program is associated with less risky sexual behavior (Carr & Packham, 2017). They argue that a lack of proper knowledge of contraceptives may result in teenage pregnancies and STD contraction. A comprehensive program like a pregnancy prevention program may be a key component in the sex education curriculum. Past surveys have indicated it has reduced the birth rate among teens in a more significant way.

An essential way to ensure sex education success is by using the existing cultural and religious norms effectively. At the societal level, the United States has profound and intense norms around sexuality and adolescence. The standards have contributed to providing comprehensive health information and shaping state policies and practices more efficiently (Hall et al., 2016). The norms in society provide vital basic sexual and moral teachings in teenagers from an early age. However, continued discussions on non-marital pregnancies among the political and societal elite have imposed barriers to an adequate sex education system and facilitated biased sexual information to teenagers (Hall et al., 2016). Society and the government have a role in ensuring information available to teenagers has a positive impact on them.

Consequently, public schools in the US should engage parents in their curriculum development, developing a more stable curriculum. A past survey conducted in the United States shows that institutions that involved parents had more reliable topics. The involved parents had 20 subjects, while those that did not affect the parents had 17 issues (Lindberg et al., 2016). Institutions involving parents are most likely to engage extensively, in more controversial topics like, for instance, the use of contraceptives in the curriculum. Parents provide a greater chance for issues like human reproduction and sexual values to be included in the sexual teachings. The engagement of parents will provide an open communication channel with their children regarding matters of sexuality.

Technology plays an essential role in sex education provision. There is a great need to establish an efficient method for harnessing media and other digital platforms within the classroom setup in public schools. Digital use will also provide scientific and medical information on sexuality to diverse adolescents (Hall et al., 2016). As teenagers approach online sources for sex education, school settings can provide other unmet needs such as STI testing and treatment services. Through this, students will benefit highly, as now enhanced practices like medical testing will ensure proper health care and knowledge among the students in public schools.

Ultimately, public schools should embark on integrated and multilevel approaches that capitalize on the use of technology in providing sex education. It would have a positive result. Now, students will acquire sexual and reproductive information to effectively enhance their knowledge of irresponsible sexual behavior that may lead to STDs pregnancies, and contractions. On the other hand, the government must provide efficient guidelines for implementing these measures to ensure proper knowledge acquisition among students.


Carr, J. B., & Packham, A. (2017). The effects of statemandated abstinencebased sex education on teen health outcomes. Health economics, 26(4), 403-420.

Hall, K. S., Sales, J. M., Komro, K. A., & Santelli, J. (2016). The state of sex education in the United States. The Journal of adolescent health: official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 58(6), 595.

Lindberg, L., Maddow-Zimet, I., & Boonstra, H. (2016). Changes in Adolescents' Receipt of Sex Education, 2006–2013. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 58(6), 621-627. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.02.004.(Lindberg et ., 2016)

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