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Abstinence Education

            An average of 54% of high school students in any given school have had sexual intercourse (Haffner). If these teens all attended the same junior high school, then they probably have been exposed to the same sexual education, whether it be abstinence-based or based on informing kids of how to act safely and make informed decisions in a sexual situation. If they received abstinence education then it is apparent that, for the most part, it failed. If they were taught a curriculum based on learning how to protect oneself, then they are at least prepared with the knowledge of how to practice safe sex. Since it is inevitable that many teens will be sexually active, it is futile to only teach them to abstain. We need to include sexuality education in addition to stressing abstinence so teens can be armed with the knowledge of how to protect themselves if they choose to be sexually active, which many obviously have. .
             Many lawmakers and parents today believe that public schools should be teaching something called abstinence education. This is to take the place of sex education, in which students learn about reproductive physiology, birth control techniques, and other important facts one must know in order to act as a healthy and informed sexual adult. Supporters of abstinence education fear that sex education will make young people more likely to engage in sexual conduct, thereby worsening problems of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
             Supporters of abstinence education claim that sex education sends young people a dual message. This message is that we don't want them to have sex, but if they do, they should do it safely. These supporters believe that this message actually negates the lesson about abstaining, but it is more important to address sexuality in an informative manner because there are some teens who will engage in sexual activity no matter what. If they are solely informed about abstinence, then they have received no guidance on what to do if they choose a sexually active lifestyle.

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