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Sex Education in America: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

The debate on the best method to educate students about on sexual health and hygiene throughout the U.S. continues to rage on, yet student voice is usually left out of the debate when schools make decisions about what they will be teaching. That’s why Myles as well as PBS NewsHour Student Reporters from the Oakland Military Institute investigate the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to sexual education and speak to students to learn what they think concerning their sexual wellness education.

Teachers: Help your students to engage in civil discussion about current issues and to practice in writing CER (claim or evidence, argumentation) responses. Explore lesson support.

What is a comprehensive sexual education?

A comprehensive sex education program will teach you that not having sexual contact is the most effective way to prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy, but it also offers scientifically accurate information about STI prevention and reproductive health and also discussions on healthy relationships and consent to be gender-neutral, LGBTQ issues and more. Which is the definition of sexual risk education? Education on sexual risk may also be called abstinence-only or abstinence-leaning. It teaches that not having sex is the sole legally acceptable and safe efficient method of avoid pregnancy and STIs Some programs don’t discuss condoms or birth control except to highlight the failure rate.

Which are your most important arguments in favor of a comprehensive sex education?

“Comprehensive sex ed” is built on the notion that public health is improved when students have the right to be aware of their sexuality and take responsible decisions regarding it. Studies show that it can prevent teenage pregnancies, delaying the moment when teens begin to be sexually active and to reduce their number of partners with whom teenagers are able to have.


What is the most important arguments in favor of comprehensive sex education?

Certain people, especially religious and parents oppose the whole concept of sexual education since they believe it’s against their religious or cultural beliefs, and believe it could have an adverse effect on children. They argue that by providing teenagers with the kind of information that you’re promoting and encouraging the use of sex and taking risks. Others argue that this kind is something that should only be for parents to instruct their children about, and should not be taught in schools.


State Laws and Policies Across the US (SIECUS)

STDs Adolescents and Young Adults (CDC)

Myths and facts regarding Comprehensive Sex Education (Advocates for Youth)

Abstinence-Only and Comprehensive Sex Education and the Initiation of Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy (Journal of Adolescent Health)

Abstinence-Only-Until Marriage: An Updated Review of US Policies and Programs and Their Impact (Journal of Adolescent Health)

Sexual Risk Prevention Education What you must be aware of (ASCEND)


We collaborated together with PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs to produce this segment. Check out their journalism resources for students:



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