Sex ed is more than necessary for our generation

Pamphlets+and+posters+are+located+in+the+nurse%E2%80%99s+office+to+help+students+make+informed+decisions.
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Sex ed is more than necessary for our generation

Pamphlets and posters are located in the nurse’s office to help students make informed decisions.

Pamphlets and posters are located in the nurse’s office to help students make informed decisions.

Photo taken by Betty Huang

Pamphlets and posters are located in the nurse’s office to help students make informed decisions.

Photo taken by Betty Huang

Photo taken by Betty Huang

Pamphlets and posters are located in the nurse’s office to help students make informed decisions.

Betty Huang, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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As an Asian student who grew up in a home rife with Chinese culture, I can assure you that my mother never talked to me about sex. She never talked to me about puberty. She let me figure it out myself, just as the vast majority of teens in China do. Although I have educated myself, I was never offered information about safe sex at school.

By providing sex education as part of the middle or high school health curriculum in schools, educators are giving students important information that they may not have any access to at home.

Sex education is currently not a major focus of the health curriculum, but why not? Is it out of fear that it encourages students to have sex? Sexual education, or “sex ed,” is needed more than ever now to educate teens about the consequences of having unprotected sex.

Highland High School has seen its fair share of teen pregnancies during my four years here. This is in no way meant to be a judgement of girls who end up pregnant as a teenager. No teenage girl should have to decide whether to keep or abort an unplanned, unborn child.

Teens know that having unprotected sex is a gamble. Still, adolescents sometimes feel invincible, like it could never happen to them-until it does. In the heat of the moment, if teenagers do not have protection, they are likely to have unprotected sex.

Some reasons why teenagers may be unprepared include not having money to buy condoms; some do not have jobs or get an allowance. Others may not have transportation to go get protection. Some teenagers may be simply too embarrassed to buy birth control or ask a trusted adult to do it for them.

Teens need to learn the life-altering consequences of having unprotected sex, such as contracting an STD, a UTI, or an unplanned pregnancy. They need to consider how they will feel if they have sex and the relationship ends afterwards or people at school talk about them. They need to learn about all available forms of birth control and that none of them are 100% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies and not all of them protect against STDs.

There is so much that students think that they know about sex, but in reality, they don’t know the half of it.

In the United States, 13 states require sex education in school. According to Planned Parenthood’s most recent poll in 2014 on sex education, 93% of parents support having sex ed taught in middle school and 96% support having sex ed being taught in high school.

You may be wondering: Why don’t these parents educate their own children about sex? Isn’t that the parents’ right and responsibility?

Talking about sex with your parents is embarrassing and awkward. Many teens and parents do not feel comfortable approaching the subject as a topic of family conversation.

Although our nurse’s office has brochures about abstinence and teen pregnancy, teens may still feel embarrassed to reach out for help, especially in a school setting. The office is filled with pamphlets and posters, providing students with basic, factual information about sexually transmitted diseases/infections and pregnancies. Those resources are there for students, yes, but how many would actually ask for help in the nurse’s office? How many students would tell their parents if an unplanned pregnancy occurred? Some teens prefer to turn to Planned Parenthood for help, since it is confidential and is not a part of their school and home environment.

The point is that we need to prevent these problems, instead of waiting for it to happen and then reacting. Providing correct information and resources before pregnancies or STDs/STIs occur will significantly decrease some of the problems currently faced by teens having unprotected sex.

Betty Huang, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Betty Huang is The Trojan Tribune's Assistant Editor-in-Chief. She has been writing for Highland's online student publication for three years. Betty is...

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Sex ed is more than necessary for our generation