What is Sex Ed?
Countries with SexEd VS Those without
Sexual Education is often thought of as just teaching minors about sex and what not but that’s not the case at all. Sex Ed is meant to guide students into making healthy, important, and safe decisions when it comes to sex - it does not encourage it! Besides sex ed also acts as a teaching ground for topics such as puberty, sexual orientation, the knowledge of consent, abstinence, as well as STIs, and pregnancies.
Usually, these courses are taken between grades sixth through twelfth. Some schools even lower the grade level of learning about sex to grades fourth and fifth. In the U.S. it is mandatory to take a health class in high school, which means more than likely learning about sexual education.
So is Sex Ed Beneficial?
In the most simple terms, it is beneficial. In 2017, 18.8% of women ages 15-19, had gone through a pregnancy. This was per 100 women, not only that, but there was a 7% decrease compared to women in 2016. It has been shown that teens who do take the “class” tend to wait longer to actually have sexual intercourse compared to kids who don’t take it. As an added bonus it also helps to reduce the risk of STIs in teenagers.
Why don’t people like Sex Ed?
Overall it’s up to a parent’s ideology about whether their child should or shouldn’t take it. It’s mostly religious groups and parents that tend to go against Sex Ed. They’re stuck on the idea that Sexual Education actually encourages sex when it clearly doesn’t. Some people also like to think that it should be the parent’s decision and should not be taught in schools. There are still options for parents to opt their child out of the course.
How Does Sex Ed Differ in the world?
In the U.S. Sex Ed has helped to lower teen pregnancies and made teens wait a little longer until they were ready to practice sex. The Netherlands/Norway tends to teach sex ed to children at a young age and the topics get heavier as the grade level increases. Due to that, they have some of the lowest teen pregnancy rates around the world. However, in the United Kingdom, it is treated more as an afterthought, and a lot of parents chose to opt their kids out of it which is only a recipe for disaster.
Argentina does allow free contraceptives for people ages 14 and older but Conservative Leaders have Sex Education blocked. Contraceptives are basically birth control and that does include, Condoms, Birth Control Pills, UID, Vasectomies, and much more. Now El Salvador has literally no formal sex ed which then results in them having some of the highest teen pregnancy rates. That’s not the case for Cuba as they have some of the lowest rates of teen pregnancies and STIs.
Knowing this it should be highly encouraged that if you or someone doesn’t know about the variety of topics talked about, please educate yourself. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Writer - Adrian Navarro
Editor - Avani Sood
Illustrator - Shaina Rahman
Graphics - Akshaya Shankarganesh