Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

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Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

Allison Murray, Staff Reporter

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Any chump can get their hands on information regarding safe sex and contraception, whether it be through the internet or a provided health class.

However, not just any chump can get their hands on useful, accurate information regarding safe sex and contraception.

According to a study by ABC News, 23 percent of sex education classes provided in public schools teach an abstinence-only curriculum.

In a report released by the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Government Reform, as of 2004, at least 80 percent of abstinence only curricula warp information regarding the effectiveness of contraceptives, misconstrue the dangers of abortion and treat gender stereotypes as fact. Science and religion are often blurred together, making basic scientific errors in the process.

Programs teaching abstinence as an exclusive form of birth control often have students partake in a virginity pledge. According to a study done by Advocates for Youth, 88 percent of students who participate in the pledge not only broke it, but were less likely to use actual contraceptives.

According to Okemos Public Schools’ sexual education handbook, abstinence is taught as the safest, preferred and most accepted means of contraception. Other methods of contraception are introduced; however, the course’s explanation only goes as far as what they are, how they work, what they look like and what they are or are not capable of doing.

After taking health her freshman year, Ryann Quillinan (12) says she feels “relatively prepared” for a safe future.

“I feel like they need to touch more on types of birth control and how to get out of certain situations. We learned a lot about STDs, which is good, but they do need to focus more on forms of birth control because teenagers are [having sex] and [administration] knows that,” Katie Clark (12) said.

Accurate information is critical for adolescents to practice safe sex in the future.

“There are so many things people are unaware of once they do end up going to college and being on their own. There is a risk because they don’t know anything,” Quillinan said.

Quillinan’s opinion is shared with many of her peers.

“I think [abstinence-only programs] are unfair because teenagers [have sex]. It’s normal, and they might as well keep us safe instead of trying to convince us not to because we aren’t going to listen to them,” Clark said.

According to Advocates for Youth, students who have received a comprehensive sex education are 50 percent less likely to experience unplanned pregnancies.

The National Campaign to End Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy conducted a study that revealed comprehensive sex education programs to have positive effects such as:

  • Forty percent increase in delayed sexual initiation, reduced number of sexual partners and increased contraceptive use
  • 30 percent reduction of sexual frequency
  • Increase in practice of abstinence
  • 60 percent in reduction of unprotected sex