Things have changed so much since I was a teen. It seemed like even though some of my friends were a “little wild” we still had lots of morals back in the 80’s. Most of my friends and me were taught right from wrong and it seemed that parent’s had more time for their kids back then. It seems that now days kids are just simply maturing a lot faster then 25-30 years ago. I hit puberty around the age of 11 and my 9 year old daughter is developing at a much faster rate. Not only are kids developing faster but they are learning about sex at younger ages.
But, according to a newly published study of 15- to 19-year-olds by the Guttmacher Institute, teen sexual behavior in general hasn’t changed much since 1991 (Yabroff, 2008). I think this study may be correct. I think that kids between the ages of 15-19 just naturally are curious about sex and I don’t think that has changed much over the years. In fact, my Grandmother married my Grandfather at the early age of 15! So that tells you that things have not changed much in the way of kids having sex at a young age—but I think what has changed is the moral and ethical values of kids today.
It seems like today they are starting sexual education classes at a much younger age then back in the 80’s. My daughter is in the 4th grade and I had to sign a paper stating it was okay for her to be a part of the sexual education class- 4th grade!!! Wow! Is it necessary to start at such a young age? I think that if parents would talk to their kids about some issues that have to do with sex early on then the schools wouldn’t have to force this on your kids at such a young age. But, a lot of parents just don’t know how to approach their kids on this subject or just don’t have time.
In the cases where the parents don’t make an effort to teach their kids then I think that it’s important that the schools do teach the kids. It’s better that they know and understand, after all knowledge is power and can hopefully help some of these youngsters make the right decisions later on in life. One of the most important things that should occur during these critical years is communication. Communication should occur between parent and teenager as well as between teenagers themselves. There was a study done back in the 90’s and it seems like things are not that much different today. I agree with this study.
Even though communication about sex was poor in relationships, the teens had suggestions for how to improve communication. The girls thought that it was important to think about one’s boundaries ahead of time, and then to be up-front with a partner. The boys felt that it was important for partners to respect each other, to stop whenever one partner wants to, and to use humor to keep things light (Fay ; Yanoff, 2000). Boys said that, among the guys, sex is often a competition to see how many girls with whom they can have sex. I think this has remained the same, I know that when I was in school it was like a competition to the boys back then.
The unequal terms used for males versus females who have many sexual partners were discussed. Males are players or dogs, which most guys consider a positive thing. Girls are considered hoes or sluts, terms considered more derogatory (Fay ; Yanoff, 2000). Another common high-risk scenario described was being alone with a partner when parents were not at home. They also mentioned other factors that could increase anyone’s level of risk, such as low self-esteem, depression, feelings of emotional vulnerability, or the desire to get even with a partner after a break-up (Fay ; Yanoff, 2000).
There are many benefits to teaching kids about sex in school—the main reason is to inform them of STD’s and teen pregnancy. Aside from the moral and ethical issues that adolescent sexual behavior raises, there are important health and social consequences (Bukatko, 2008). So there are many good reasons to teach kids early on. I think the only con I can think of is that it kind of erases the child’s innocence in my opinion. When my daughter brought that paper home for me to sign, allowing her to attend sexual education classes—I immediately thought, Wow!
She is still my baby! I think if sexual education must be taught in school to kids that are so young, then they should focus on the most important points such as how to abstain from sex and prevent the possibility of contracting AIDS or becoming pregnant. We don’t want to scare our kids, but then again we do! Maybe it’s not such a bad thing to scare our kids into doing what is right, but we also have to teach them how to be confident in their decisions and how to grow their self esteem.
The schools that I attended growing up never had any kind of sexual education classes. Of course I graduated back in 1989 and AIDS really didn’t become a major thing until late 80’s – early 90’s. Also back then, teenage pregnancy was nothing like it is today. Today girls get pregnant on purpose—which we would have said back then is insane!!! So, it may have been helpful to have had sexual education when I was young, because my mom and dad never really felt comfortable talking about this subject with me and my four brothers.
I found things out mainly through my friends. I think if there had been a program in my school teaching us about sexual education it would have helped me to understand the importance of “just saying no” at a younger age. I think that it would have taught me and my friends that you don’t have to do this or that to be cool or fit in. I think the main purpose for the classes should be to instill confidence and self esteem in the teenagers because if you can do that –then hopefully they will have the power to make the best decision when a tough situation arises.
A new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics ; Adolescent Medicine Monday showed that young teens given an abstinence-only message were significantly more likely to delay having sex than those receiving more comprehensive sex education (Paulson, 2010). In my opinion I tend to agree with this study, I think the teachers may not want to get into all the details, but teach the kids that it’s best just to wait until you are older and more secure in yourself before having sex. Kids should be taught that it just doesn’t mean anything unless you are doing these things with someone you love, someone who respects you.