“Any questions? Good, we’ll be having a test tomorrow covering Chapters 1-3. ” These are the words being spoken far too infrequently in public schools than they should. Collier states that 80% of Americans, including religious and health institutions aren’t in favor of sex education in the schools (60). This means that the desire and need for action are present. Many people opposed to sex education in the classroom claim that “it is, in fact, the culprit, not the cure”(Richert 55) and that schools promote the “everybody’s doing it” syndrome (Richert 55).
They say that sex education should be taught at home and/or church (Richert 57). Another complaint is that “abortions are skyrocketing, and venereal disease among teens is rampant”(Richert 55). These statements are clearly wrong. Church teaches morals, but not everything included in a full-fledged sex ed. class. Also, children often feel uncomfortable talking about sex with their parents, but at school they approach it as an obligation and accept it.
This lack of education is why “we are faced today with a million teenage pregnancies a year”(Collier 60) and we have never “so badly needed to help our youngsters come to grips with the problems of sex”(Collier 60). Placing sex education classes in public schools can attack these two statements. It is Shollenberger 2 known that “a comprehensive, nationwide sex-education program could reduce teen-age pregnancies by 250,000 to 500,000 a year”(Collier 62). Also, a school is filled with information. They are here for one reason-to teach.
Schools are capable of giving convincing statistics that a mother-daughter conversation, if even existing, would never include such as “cases of syphilis increased by 12 percent last year”(Collier 60). This is somewhat confirmed by the statement “between 85 and 95 percent of parents admit they never discuss any aspect of sexual behavior, or its social consequences, with their children”(Collier 61). It proves to the kids that the problem actually exists, and it isn’t just being said to frighten them.
A common “sex talk” would contain such dialogue as “don’t have sex” and “if you do, use a condom. However, a school education class would explain how to use a condom and why. As for the “everybody’s doing it” statement, it’s partially true, and that’s why sex education is essential. Opposers argue that “more than one million teen-age girls -one out of every 10-get pregnant each year”(Richert 55). It seems to me that these two contradict each other.
Sex education’s intentions are to educate teen-agers on sexual behavior and teach them how to prevent pregnancies and how to say no, thus reducing the teen-age pregnancies. A lot of kids want to say no. A good program will show them how”(Collier 62). This statement clearly states the intentions of a “good” sex ed. class. Also be aware that every tree has a bad apple. Not all sex education classes are going to be equal in quality, so they can’t all be judged based upon the statistics of one “bad” class. Shollenberger 3 The last argument was that “abortions are skyrocketing, and venereal disease among teens is rampant”(Richert 55).
This is easily rebutted with the two statements: “a comprehensive, nationwide sex-education program could reduce teen-age pregnancies by 250,000 to 500,000 a year”(Collier 62) and “a sex education program in Los Angeles County produced an 84 percent drop in venereal disease rates in four years” (Collier 62). There you have it-sex education would greatly reduce teenage pregnancies and venereal diseases. The lack of teenage pregnancies is directly related to the number of abortions, and that’s exactly what the sex ed. lasses affected.
Sex education in the classroom would solve many conflicts and problems from statistical disease increases to emotional comfort and morals. It is best summed up when James L. Collier says “what you have to do is help young people find ways to make intelligent decisions for themselves”(61). It is not up to the school to tell teenagers what to do, and the church and home often don’t supply the needed information, so they must compromise, and let the teenagers themselves make the decisions.