Two Main Sex Education Programs Taught in Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new report showing that more than two-thirds of Georgia schools fail to teach all of the recommended sexual education topics.

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In contrast, roughly half of Georgia school systems use the controversial “Choosing the Best” sex education curriculum which teaches students the risks of condom use rather than the importance of using condoms consistently and how to use a condom correctly.

Sex education may take place in schools, ..

Impact of a high school condom availability program on sexual attitudes and behaviors, , 1998, 30(2):67-72 & 88.

The results of the study, based on 479 respondents, showed that 87 percent of the teachers surveyed acknowledged that sex education, in some form, took place in their schools in the 2005-06 school year. However, sex education was a requirement for all students in only 16 percent of the respondents’ schools, and most teachers reported that parents or caregivers were able to control whether their children participated in the classes. In a third of the schools, parents need to opt in, rather than opt out, for their child to receive sex education.

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“This is an important study,” said Theo Sandfort, a research scientist at the and an associate professor at the . “While unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections in young people form a great concern, little seems to be in place to actually promote responsible sexual behavior. Education has a major role to play in promoting young people’s sexual health, but it cannot be effective if supportive policies, skills and resources are lacking. Hopefully this study will not be without consequences.”

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Biased sex education can ultimately result in negative public health consequences, such as an unplanned pregnancy, the transmission of STDs, and poor mental health for LGBT students. Yet despite these consequences, many states still do not mandate a comprehensive sex education program.

Curriculum Standards and Funding

“Given the sensitive nature of this topic, it was essential that the study had guidance from the people who really understood how Florida school systems work, and how state and local policies impact the teachers’ ability to educate their students,” said researcher Ellen Lopez, an assistant professor in . “It was also important to gain insight from people who had different views about sex education.”

Parents, schools divided as sex ed ..

Major professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Public Health Association, support abstinence but also emphasize that young people need accurate and comprehensive sexual education to prepare them for responsible decision-making. The vast majority of parents also support teaching comprehensive sexual education in schools.

of Columbia require public schools to teach sex education

In 41 states and the District of Columbia, schools that teach sex education are not required to teach medically accurate information. They are allowed to- and often encouraged to- provide statistics that inflate the failure rate of contraceptives or emphasize only the risks of abortion. Exploiting the possible ineffectiveness of contraceptives can have devastating effects. Students who choose to engage in sexual activity may decide not to use protection, believing it will not make a difference. Without using protection, they can risk both pregnancy and contracting STDs. Teaching inaccurate information also sets a dangerous precedent for future health instruction. If students discover that they are not being given the truth, they may be reluctant to believe their teachers about other health issues and safety measures.