As a high schooler, my innocent and secluded world of Spongebob, microwaveable pizzas and church camp was invaded by sexual attraction, a desire for intimacy, trying to define relationships and all that other b.s.
An average of 47 percent of high school students across the U.S. have had or are having sex, with 60 percent reporting condom use and 23 percent reporting the use of birth control, as reported by the CDC.
This information makes sense. Having sex is a natural human urge. As an unwed teen, it may be rebuked by a person’s religion or personal relationship with a higher being, for the purposes of this article I will say it is unproblematic — as long as it is performed safely.
Sex education in high school is a joke, literally. As students, we all laughed when our professor warned us about STDs and we high-fived when the informational videos depicted sexual intercourse. It was not a personal experience. Nor was it intimate. Sex, on the other hand, is both those things.
While nearly half of our nation’s teens are having sex, only 24 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex education in public schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
From what I can recall, our sex ed went a little like this: We spent approximately two minutes discussing the act of heterosexual sex and then we went into a weeklong lecture about the negative consequences that can occur when sex is not practiced safely — mainly physical ramifications such as unplanned pregnancies and STDs. Finally, we learned about how problematic and dangerous many STDs can be. Obviously, we watched a video about teen pregnancy in the hopes of motivating us to not get pregnant as teens.
Something I found to be flagrantly amiss in all of this was a lack of focus on the humanity within sex. There is more to sex than just the biological ramifications of touching genitals. There are emotions as well as means of communication and expression that are often overlooked.
There is something about our society’s take on sex that is contributing to the problem. A lack of sex education — considerate sex education — is a likely factor.
Texas, Oklahoma and most states the middle of the country don't require sex ed to graduate, according to an article by Splinter, because it should be the parents' choice as to whether or not their child learns about such a topic.
I argue that just as not all parents are qualified to teach their kids trigonometry, not all parents are qualified to teach their kids about sex. There is a misconception that sex is something you come to understand through life experiences, but many people go their whole lives without fully comprehending its emotional and mental consequences. Standardizing education on the topic is a great way to accelerate change.
This is the opinion of Jennifer Lee, a junior screenwriting major from Sacramento, California. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.