Less than half of the country is providing sufficient sex education to young people attending public schools. According to the National Conference of State Legislature, as of March 1, 2016, there are only 24 states that require their public schools to provide sex education to their students. Of those 24, only 21 are required to teach a combination of sexual health education and HIV education.
It’s unfortunate looking at these numbers and realizing that students in over half of our country are not being provided with an adequate education when it comes to sex.
What’s even more upsetting is that only 13 states require that the instruction be medically accurate.
Sex education has been the topic of many heated debates over content, age-appropriateness and even the right of public schools to educate students about sex at all.
Unfortunately, not all students have a living situation in which they can have discussions surrounding sexual health. This leaves them to do their own research – which can lead to extreme misinformation if they don’t know where to look.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the age demographic of 15-24 year olds account for over half of the new cases involving sexually transmitted diseases.
Generally, the debate surrounding sex education includes whether it should be taught at the grade and middle school levels, and what should be taught. But once we are past our high school years and into the college years, for some reason, the importance of learning about sex seems to diminish at arguably the most important time.
The “hook-up culture” of college is enough reason for us to continue sexual education in college. Most of today’s young adults report some casual sexual experience. According to the American Psychological Association, the most recent data suggests that between 60 percent and 80 percent of North American college students have had some sort of hook-up experience.
The APA also reports that nearly half of college students engaging in hook-ups were not concerned about contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
We aren’t going to sit here and tell you all that sex is bad, or that hook-ups are bad. To each his/her own, you do you. We just want you all to be safe while doing it.
Education about contraceptives, STDs, and sexual anatomy is absolutely needed.
Without proper sex education, students are left at a loss when it comes to fully understanding the scope of sex.
Sex is natural, whether some people want to admit it or not. Sexual activity of any kind, however, does have its consequences, and it’s very important that students–and non-students–understand these consequences in order to prevent them from happening.