Letter: Real sex ed needed
I am with a group of students from Glenwood Springs High School working on an assignment called Project Citizen. We designed Project Citizen to cause real change in American lives by implementing new policies on local and nationwide issues.
My group’s goal is to raise awareness about the gaps present in statewide sexual education programs and to implement a policy reforming the current sexual education curriculum in the state of Colorado. Change begins at home, and we would like to inform our local community about our stance on the issue.
In order for sexual education to be effective, the materials must be medically accurate and inclusive of the consequences of becoming sexually active. Our policy, the Equal Sexual Education Act, would require the state government to implement a comprehensive sex education curriculum that is inclusive of the LGBTQ community and also provides true information about HIV/AIDS and STDs. This policy would allow students to receive the information they need to make healthy choices about their bodies, and equip them with knowledge about healthy relationships, abusive relationships, sexual abuse, rape, as well as ways to find help in any of these situations.
Teenagers who receive a comprehensive curriculum are 60 percent less likely to get pregnant than teenagers who learned abstinence-only sex education. States that teach abstinence-only education have higher rates of teen pregnancy, such as Mississippi, with the highest national average of teen pregnancies and an unyielding abstinence-only sex education program. This correlation can be attributed to the fact that preaching abstinence is only effective if everyone is abstinent, which is not realistic.
Whether students are participating in sexual activity or not, at some point they need information about what’s healthy and unhealthy, the consequences of sexual activity, and resources they can turn to for help. Teen pregnancy is 100 percent preventable, not only through abstinence, but through educating our youth.
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