My oldest is entering middle school next year. I’m worried about what he will be taught in sex-ed, but I’m also not sure what approach is best. Do you believe in teaching abstinence in schools or should teachers be going the more comprehensive route?
Thanks for your advice!
I’m so glad you asked this question. It can be scary to send your pre-teen off to school where he may be taught things that conflict with your values. I have a lot to say on this subject, but here is a brief summary of my thoughts on sex education in schools:
I have been actively involved in sex education in grades 5-12 since 1996, and I am passionate about it. My approach to sex education has always been to equip students with knowledge and skill sets to make the best medical choice possible when it comes to being sexually active as teens.
From a medical standpoint, the message that teens need to get is: put the brakes on. All of the best medical data available shows us that being sexually active as a teen, with or without condoms, is very high-risk behavior. Let me run a few statistics by you:
In 1960, the U.S. had primarily two STDs: gonorrhea and syphilis. We now have more than 35 STDs.
In the 1980s, HIV came on the scene and the prevalence of genital herpes rose 500%. Now, one in five Americans older than twelve years of age tests positive for HSV 2, a form of genital herpes.
By 2000, 15.3 million Americans every year contracted a new STD and more than two-thirds of those are in their teens!
Currently, 20 million Americans contract a new STD each year and more than half are young people.
Teen girls are at much higher risk of getting cervical cancer because they have different cervical anatomy than women in their twenties.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, we are currently experiencing an epidemic of STDs among our youth, and the numbers are getting worse.
I wrote a book called Your Kids at Risk, and I highly recommend that you check it out. It is full of data and help regarding kids and sexual activity. The bottom line is: we need to help our kids avoid sexual activity.