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Should sex education be taught in schools? Show more Show less

With the increasing ubiquity of sexual images, teenagers receive a constant stream of sexual imagery and information. But whose responsibility is it to equip children and teens with the necessary knowledge to form attitudes about sex, relationships and intimacy? Is it the parents'? Or should educators provide teens with comprehensive sex education classes in schools?
School is where children hone their decision-making abilities and gain the skills to interpret the world around them. Sex should be a part of that education.
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Parents want it

When polled, parents usually support making comprehensive sex education classes part of the curriculum.

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Context

An overwhelming majority of parents prefer teachers to educate their children on matters of sex and relationships.

The Argument

A 1999 survey among American parents found that 93% of parents wanted children to receive some form of sex education by the time they finish high school. 84% wanted their children to receive the classes before they finished junior high.[1] In a separate survey carried out by The Advocates for Youth, 83% of parents said that they thought their child should be taught how to put a condom on in school. 71% also believed that schools should inform students on where they can get oral contraceptive pills. 86% supported informing children on where and how they can be tested for certain types of sexually transmitted diseases.[2] This indicates that parents would rather teachers taught sex education, or at least offered some information to supplement their own sex education teachings. [3]

Counter arguments

Not all parents want it. And for those that don’t, sex education in schools can undermine their religious beliefs. Jodi Hoffman, a Florida mother, sued the county public schools board for teaching her children about contraceptives, abortion and homosexuality in school. She argued that in educating her children on these matters, they had clashed with her religious values that disagree with sex outside of marriage, abortions and the use of contraception.[1]

Premises

[P1] Parents would rather teachers taught sex education. [P2] Therefore, teachers should teach sex education.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Not all parents want teachers educating their children on sex. For those that don't, comprehensive school sex education programs are a direct violation of their religious beliefs.

References

  1. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3071001/ns/health-childrens_health/t/carnal-knowledge-sex-ed-debate/#.XULyuOhKiUk
  2. https://pitjournal.unc.edu/article/sex-education-public-schools
  3. https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2001/02/sex-education-politicians-parents-teachers-and-teens

Proponents

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This page was last edited on Friday, 9 Aug 2019 at 16:28 UTC