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The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

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Opinion: High School Should Offer Comprehensive Sexuality Education

High+school+students+have+access+to+information+about+sexual+health+and+relationships+through+Camerons+Collection+on+the+library+website%2C+but+face-to-face+information+from+an+adult+in+a+safe+setting+would+benefit+students+even+more.+
Jadyn Arzola
High school students have access to information about sexual health and relationships through “Cameron’s Collection” on the library website, but face-to-face information from an adult in a safe setting would benefit students even more.

Throughout middle school years science teachers educate students on puberty and the basics of sex during a one to two week long sexual education unit. Majority of students attend this course and learn the anatomy of both the male and female body as well as what changes are made within them during puberty. This course does not teach students any safe sex strategies; It only promotes students to live up to an unrealistic standard: abstinence.

Though it is important for puberty to be discussed to young teens during their middle school years, a more in-depth sexual education unit promoting the practice of safe sex as well as maintaining healthy relationships as they enter adulthood should be taught to high school students.

According to an article by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 55% of adolescents have had sex by the time they are 18 years old. Instead of making young adults feel guilty, schools should promote safe sex habits and practices including using condoms and getting regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs and STIs). Only discouraging young adults from having sex instead of teaching them proper ways to have sex and take care of themselves, as well as their sexual partner(s), leads to unfortunate circumstances including teen pregnancy and the spread of STDs and STIs. If teenagers want to have sex, they will find a way to do so and when they are punished for it, they end up sneaking around, which can result in dangerous situations. It is better for teens to have safe sex than it is for them to possibly put themselves in danger, mentally or physically. 

A large number of adolescents enter their first serious relationship(s) during their high school years. Oftentimes, due to inexperience, younger people find themselves in toxic relationships that are hard to get out of, especially once sex gets involved. If the school offered comprehensive sexuality education,  [defined by the World Health Organization as sexual education that discusses not only sex but also “families and relationships; respect, consent and bodily autonomy; anatomy, puberty and menstruation; contraception and pregnancy; and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.” ] instead of deep rooting the belief that sex is bad and should be avoided at all costs, they would be able to learn “what is and is not acceptable behaviour,” and therefore become less vulnerable to toxic relationships that could include sexual abuse. 

Those opposed to the idea that educating students on the proper ways to have sex instead of enforcing abstinence fear that programs focusing on safe sex are promoting the act of sex in itself. However, that is not the case. Promoting safe sex and promoting sex are two very different things, and contrary to those who are against the education of safe sex practices may believe, comprehensive sexual education has been proven to be effective. An article by the American Academy of Pediatrics states that “comprehensive sex education programs are effective in reducing risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancy,” and that they have also taught young adults “skills that are proven to support social-emotional learning, positive communication skills, and development of healthy relationships.” 

For the safety and well being of young adult students, the high school should offer information about the practice of safe sex and maintaining safe relationships.

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  • V

    Vic OlivarezFeb 8, 2024 at 8:30 am

    I believe this to be true. I don’t know how many people have come up and talked to me about pregnancy scares and they’re still under 17. We should have a mandatory thing like this. Safe sex is more attainable than the thoughts of abstinince.

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  • J

    Jenn MooreFeb 7, 2024 at 1:29 pm

    It shouldn’t be considered bold to write a piece like this in a high school newspaper. Yet, for small town Texas, I believe it is. I applaud your choice to bring attention to these issues. Mental and physical health and safety of students in real-world situations should be priority.

    Reply