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Abstinence and Sex Education in the Classroom

            In many schools today there is a big debate over sexual education courses (sex-ed) and how they should be taught. Many parents believe that an abstinence-only styled course or, the practice of not having sexual intercourse until marriage to prevent anything negative from happening is the only morally correct option to teach, as opposed to a comprehensive sexual education program which teaches students not only about abstinence, but various contraception methods and the risks of sex and pregnancy. Sexual education courses in public schools are an extremely important step in a student's education. Starting in the mid 1900's, the U.S. Public Health Service made a decision that labeled sexual education as an urgent need in a child's education (Pardini "History of Sexual Education"). From a young age, a child's body begins to go through many changes that can confuse them. Their bodies are developing and experiencing weird feelings which need to be explained to them. Many children can agree that at a young age they feel awkward or embarrassed going to their families for information on sexuality, puberty, and protection and have instead been turning to schools for the information. "Adolescence is a particularly stressful and confusing time as both physical and cognitive aspects of sexual expression begin to align, and the opportunities for personal decision making expand" (Breakspeare "Sexual Education"). .
             This is why we should do the best to make sure they are getting the best education on the subject. Having a proper sexual education course can steer young students into making better and smarter choices about sex in their future.
             A viable article, Sex Education Programs: Definitions & Point-by-Point Comparison, highlighting the key points of comprehensive sexual education states abstinence only courses usually censors information regarding contraception, unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases (Alford, "Sex Education Programs").

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