It is widely accepted that sexual education in school results in lowering teen pregnancy and STD rates and increasing knowledge about reproductive and sexual health. Teens who learn about sex from school (and not just porn or the bible) tend to become sexually active later, which usually allows more time for brain development and thus better choices in regards to prophylactics.
One recent study by the Guttmacher Institute found that traditional sex ed programs help lower rates of pregnancy and STDs by 17 percent, but programs that delve into sex, gender, and power dynamics are able to help lower pregnancy and STD rates by 80 percent. This is all great news — if you're able to deliver comprehensive sex to students in the first place.
A new report released by the CDC paints a not-so-pretty picture about sex ed in American schools. This is hardly surprising, given that in many states, abstinence-only sex education is the norm. (And, in those states, teen pregnancy rates flourish, despite billions of dollars spent to make sure kids keep it in their pants.)
Here are six sex ed topics and their rates of inclusion in state schools across the US; some of the rates are impressive, but overall, we have a long way to go.
1. Proper Condom Use
Teaching the importance of condoms — and how to use them properly — ranges from 9.1 percent to 72.9 percent from state to state.
2. Creating And Sustaining Healthy Relationships
Sex ed doesn't have to be just about the mechanics of sex, because the act often occurs within the parameters of a relationship. The rates of teaching the art of creating and maintaining healthy relationships ranges from 24.2 percent to 94.7 percent across the U.S..
3. How STDs Are Transmitted
It's vital students know how STDs are transmitted so they can do everything in their power to be safe. Between 58.7 percent to 100.0 percent of schools teach this very necessary information.
4. How To Help Friends Reduce Sexual Risk
Peer pressure is real, and so is peer support. And 48.1 percent to 97.4 percent of schools teach kids how to influence and help others to reduce sexually risky behavior.
5. The Consequences Of STDs And Pregnancy
Kids might be taught "don't get an STD" or "don't get pregnant," but it's important for them to know why — and how to deal if they do. Just 60.3 percent to 100.0 percent of schools teach the consequences of HIV, STDs and pregnancy.
6. How To Obtain Condoms
So you're taught to have safe sex, but where do you get a condom to do so? Twenty-eight and half percent to 96.4 percent of schools teach students where to find one.
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