Sex Education In Public Schools Argumentative Essay Sample
Over the years, one topic has always been at the forefront of education and that topic is sex education being taught in public schools. This topic has only two sides of it, those who are in favor of it because of the lessons that it teaches and those who are against it for the simple fact that sex education is the parent’s responsibility. Both sides of this argument have very good points about the importance of sex education being taught and where it should be taught, those who are for sex education being taught in public schools argue that children not only benefit from sex education being taught in school but the preparatory lessons that they learn will prevent them from going out and making mistakes such as having children too early.
The opposition argues that sex education being taught in public schools can misconstrue a child’s conception of the body and make them want to have sex despite the consequences that away them, they also argue that parents should be the ones that teach the child sex education; the public schools have nothing to do with nature or the natural order of things. However, what the both sides do not realize is that children are at the center of the argument. If an agreement is going to be made then both sides must be willing to do what they have to do for the greater good, the greater good being the children. Furthermore, both sides must be willing to compromise a little bit of their beliefs in order for everyone to benefit and be happy.
This paper will discuss both sides of the argument for the greater good.
Why teaching abstinence only is not that effective
As most parents know, teens are going to do whatever they want to do unless they are told about the importance of why they should not do it. Teaching abstinence only in public schools will be effective for some because there will be at least 95-114 students who will decide that having sex during their times in high school or public school is not worth it, being knowledgeable about becoming another statistic would carry weight for those who decide that having sex before they are ready is not worth it to them no matter how many of their friends are doing it. Jesse Merriam an associate for Constitutional Litigation state that “Delivering a message of abstinence will only provide young people with questions without answers, it is not enough to be abstinent but explaining why they should be works better” (Merriam, 2007). Teaching young people in public schools how to properly use condoms, practice safe sex and how to prevent getting STDs will send the right message. Young people need to know and feel (as is their constitutional right) that their public school system care enough about them to teach them the important things which means teaching them sex education, teaching them how to be prepared if the opportunity arises, showing them that their bodies are nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. It is the public school system’s civic duty to teach sex education because even if the parents do not ever get around to it or it is too much of an awkward conversation then the public school system should provide a back-up plan for their students, it can be argued that young people in some public schools are robbed of the opportunity to learn sex education early and they do not learn it until college from random friends. This is clearly the wrong approach because learning about sex education later could doom a lot of college students and pre-college students. Public schools should teach a comprehensive lesson on the do’s and don’ts of sex education as well as teaching the importance of abstinence, both lessons will benefit young people versus if it was just abstinence alone which is not effective.
Public school responsibility or not
The opposition says that teaching sex education in public schools is not the public schools responsibility because it is supposed to be taught off the school’s clock which means they do not bear any responsibility for what young people in public schools do and do not know about sex, it can also be said that teaching sex education in public schools is a waste of school funding which it is not. The more public schools ignore the concept of teaching sex education, the more their student retention rate drops which means less students means less students graduating from public schools. Dr. David Wiley & Dr. Kelly Wilson, professors at the University of Texas authors of the article Just Say Don’t Know: Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools, state that “Sex education have to already be a part of the school curriculum in order for it to be taught to students of all ages” (Wiley & Wilson 1). It is like the Texas Public Schools are making it their business not to teach sex education unless it was something that they voted on, the precedence of this issue and the students does not matter to them or the opposition. I personally believe that every public school in America owe it to their students to teach sex education because there are so many young people with questions that do not ever get answered, public schools teaching sex education owe it to their students to answer these questions because the knowledge they attain will benefit them and future generations. It is a known fact that a little less than 69% of high school students between the ages of 14 to 18 have sex at least several times throughout their time attending public school, one-third of those students have contracted and are living with a permanent STD due to lack of information about sex education. A little less than 20% of students in high school have sex before the age of 18, 1 in 6 of those students have impregnated more than one girl. Rita Diller, author of the article Sex Education, Why it is wrong state that “Teaching sex education in schools go against the school’s constitutional rights to teach “important” subjects” (2010). The statistics suggest otherwise, young people are doomed to live with regrettable mistakes such as abortion and pregnancy.
It is young people’s fault that they lack sex education knowledge
Lack of sexuality education has often left young people in public schools having to go behind their parents’ back in order to hide a secret pregnancy or abortion, the opposition feels that young people in public schools do not have any business having sex before they are mature enough to grasp the concept. The real reality of it is that young people would not be in the position that they are in if they were properly taught sex education as well as how to handle themselves in a sexual situation, it can be argued that peer pressure is not the issue. Priscilla Pardini, author of the cover story Abstinence only Education continues to Flourish state that “Teaching only abstinence will make young people have sex more, but ensuring that they have the right tools is everyone’s responsibility” (Pardini, 2003). Teachers and administrators will say to parents that sex education is not important enough to be taught in public schools, many parents who live with their child becoming young parents early disagrees. Administrators and teachers are the reason why so many young people in public schools are becoming young parents because they are not making young people needs first which should always be the case. Susan Lang, the author of the article Abstinence Only in Sex Education: Is it really the best choice, state that “Sex education in schools should be made mandatory because too many young people are getting pregnant, sex education prevents this from happening” (1999). I know that most Americans are embarrassed when it comes to talking about sex, but this behavior is not helping young people because we are taking away their ability to live their lives free of the pressures of early parenthood. As parents and knowledgeable adults, we owe it to our young people to educate them on the values and importance of sex and abstinence. More and more young people are not finishing their education because they are too busy being full time parents, some parents will argue that it is not their fault when in fact, it is. Young people count on adults, parents and teachers to educate them about life, those who turn their back on that responsibility are responsible for every young person that is a young parent.
Safe sex, what is the harm?
The opposition believes that having safe sex or teaching safe sex in public schools might drive those students to have sex even more. Therefore, to completely prevent that, only abstinence only programs should be taught so teens do not get pregnant and have children long before they are married. Also, the opposition believes that having sex only exists in the heart and mind of those who have heard about it from other people or their friends which is not true. Young people especially those between the ages of 15-18 watch pornography over at a friend’s house, they are doing this because their parents as well as school staff have made it so they should not even think about sex or even talk to them about possibly wanting to have it. Being taught safe sex is the way to prevent pregnancy or living with a lifelong STD, parents telling their children not to have sex is not going to make them not want to; it is the parent’s and the school’s responsibility to keep children informed about these issues. I remember back in the 1990s, schools used to have a guidance counselor that would kids could talk to about all kinds of issues that they were having; it can be argued that it was not effective. Elizabeth Boskey, graduate of Hopkins University and writer of the article Top 10 Reasons to Support Comprehensive Education in Schools state that “Sex education is a powerful tool that will prevent many young people in public schools from living lives of ignorance, misinformation and being shielded from the truth, the opposition is doing more harm than good” (Boskey, 2014). Parents and teachers call themselves protecting their children from the truth which they think will hurt them, but not telling your child the real truth about sex education and sex is the thing that is going to hurt them the most. Also, the hidden truth is going to be detrimental to their future because they will always wonder what their lives could have been if only someone cared enough about them to tell them the truth. Ignorance and sex education do not mix, young people are at the center; they need to be the focus not what adults should not be telling them.
Even though both sides of the argument hold different views about this argument, a middle ground has been established by both sides and everyone benefits. The answer to this would be for the opposition and anti-opposition to work together to openly to share their knowledge of abstinence and practicing safe sex in order to foster an open-minded environment, an environment where children are free to ask questions where they are treated like they are mature enough in order to handle the answers to those questions.
Pam Chamberlain, senior researcher and member of the editorial board of Public Eye state that “Abstinence is not the only thing that young people in public schools should be told about, being taught safe sex should also be on the venue because young people in public schools deserve to know” (Chamberlain, 2008).
With both parties working together, they will be the saving grace of every single non-dating teenager and pre-college student; even those who are not quite at that age. Children would be able to freely express how they feel about the issue and parents would be allowed to express how they feel about it as well. With the agreement by both sides in place, everyone is happy and neither side is feeling more powerful than the other.
Chamberlain, Pam. "Abstaining from the Truth." Public Eye 1 Jan. 2008. Print.
Lang, Susan. "Abstinence Only in Sex Education: Is It Really the Best Choice?" 1 Jan. 1999. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. <http://www.englishcompandlit.com/halloffameexploratorylong.html>.
Diller, Rita. "Sex Education: Why Is It Wrong?" American Life League. 8 Jan. 2010. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. <http://www.all.org/article/index/id/NTc3MA/>.
Merriam, Jesse. "Why Don 't More Public Schools Teach Sex Education? A Constitutional Explanation and Critique." William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law 13.2 (2007): 539-40. Print.
Wiley, David, and Kelly Wilson. "Just Say Don't Know: Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools." 1.1 (2009): 1-2. Print.
Pardini, Priscilla. "Abstinence-Only Education Continues to Flourish." Rethinking Schools. 1 Jan. 2003. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. <http://www.rethinkingschools.org/sex/Abst172.shtml>.
Boskey, Elizabeth. "Top 10 Reasons to Support Comprehensive Education in Schools."About Health. 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. <http://std.about.com/od/prevention/tp/toptencompsexed.htm>.