Sex education: the topic could not be hotter right now. It truly is the age old question, when do you teach your kids about the good ol’ birds and the bees?
If no one informs your kids, the fact of the matter is, they will learn it from their friends, boyfriends, magazines and now the internet. Between all of those different sources, there is a lot of room for miscommunication and misinformation. Many teen moms credit their lack of information for their pregnancy, whether they weren’t told to use protection or they were convinced that it wasn’t needed, i.e. boyfriends convincing a girlfriend that she can’t get pregnant on the first time.
So if we do not want our teens teaching each other about adult relationships, what can we do? Obviously it is the parents that should teach their teens?
That is where the big problem steps in. The s-e-x talk makes parents and children around the world cringe in uncomfortable agony. Most people would rate it on the bottom of their to-do list. With this uncomfortable nature, parents often skim over the talk and assume schools are taking care of the life lesson.
Many public schools teach sex education as part of a health class. Depending on the state laws, the class can include lessons on contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases and birth. Each state makes the rules that the public schools must follow.
Schools began to step in to teach sex education because many students were not getting that education at home. Whether their parents were too shy and embarrassed or the students do not have a good role model to teach them about the birds and the bees, the sex education deficit was somewhere.
Since kids are required to go to school, it seemed like a great idea to target all students to prepare them with the life skills they need to succeed.
In my state, sex education is entirely watered down. It is watered down so much that is actually doesn’t include anything regarding sex. In fact, my state follows an abstinence only lesson for sex education. And even then, parents can choose to opt out and have their children avoid that lesson.
My biggest issue with abstinence only education is that teens will still have sex, even (or sometimes especially) when they are told to wait. Without knowledge of life skills, these uneducated teens will rely on their friends for information which will often result in bad decisions (teen pregnancy, STDs).
Regardless of your sex-ed point of view, it is hard to deny that the issue has become an political hot topic.
Parents are mad that the government is taking over sexual education, and the schools want teens to be well educated.
So what can you do as a parent? Honestly, the only thing you can do is to take charge. If you do not like what is being taught in school, make sure you are teaching your teen what he or she needs to know to make good adult choices.