sex education in school - page 3

i was on the dr.phil site (i am a chronic phil watcher) and I was reading the replies to the show about sex education in schools. I was SHOCKED to read how many people believe that sex education... Read More

  1. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Tweety
    I say guys need to read the inserts about how to put on a condom to prevent unwanted disease and pregancy.

    We shouldn't turn a blind eye that teens are going to have sex. Parents live in denial sometimes and rather than teach about condoms, just trust their kids will follow their teachings and not have sex. They're afraid that if their kids learn how to prevent unwanted pregancy and disease, that is the same as saying "go out and have sex". Gets a little shakey. I'm glad I don't have kids. My poor mom had to face the agonizing realization that my sister was having sex at age 16 and put her on the pill. Knowing that all the lectures in the world about making her stop were going to fall on deaf ears, and she was legal at that point.

    No, a "how to do it course" is not what I'm talking about, so perhaps we're more on the same page than we realize.
    I agree. And, ya know what, that tired old "just say no" campaign is failing--- miserably. How do I know? I work in an OB unit. Believe me, it ain'tworking. Kids from very religious backgrounds are getting pregnant and contracting STD's, still, at an epidemic rate.

    And the pregnancy is just the tip of the iceberg of problems we encounter when we do not teach our kids something beside abstinence being the be-all, end-all. What about emotional aspects? Self-esteem? "Just say no" does not really cover all that.

    We need to discuss how they should approach feelings and responsibilities if/when they decide to have sex, whether our religious teaching and personal preferences prohibit it or not. The fact is, they ARE having sex. The question goes beyond abstinence; it becomes what to do if/when the time comes they find themselves wanting to take the relationship to that level. No matter what age that is, that is what is important. How to deal. That is not taught by too many parents, so perhaps it should be by someone, whether it be the schools or guidance counselors.
  2. by   rn/writer
    I have six kids and didn't mind the kind of sex ed. that focused on the science/biology aspect of the subject. I also wouldn't have minded sex ed. that spoke of the mental and emotional results in an impartial way. But I didn't want teachers or speakers coming in and advocating behaviors that flew in the face of the values my husband and I were trying to teach our kids. So much of "progressive" sex education concentrates on the physical aspects--wear a condom, don't expose yourself to disease, avoid pregnancy--but sex involves so much more. We always told our kids that until they invent a condom for the heart, intimate physical contact without the safety of committment can expose you to damage that can be as jarring as an STD. I believe that sex is a gift from God that allows me to share in creating life and lets me become one with another person. Lest I sound like some goo-goo eyed mystic, I will also say that I think sex is a very cool slow dance, a fabulous tension-reliever, a great way to make up after a snit, and about as much free fun as two people can have when the kids are all tucked in and the wind is howling outside. Our kids took a lot of naps--which is probably why we had six--and they all knew that Dad and Mom really LIKED each other. That context--a loving relationship and a safe home--taught our kids that sex is healthiest within the shelter of committment. I don't want someone to teach my kids that behavior I consider aberrant--multiple partners, serial partners, casual encounters, marital infidelity, porn, cybersex--are just acceptable alternatives. I want my children to know that having sex with someone is more than just a souped-up handshake. I'd especially like to get the idea across that sex--the physical act of doing it--is but one tiny component of being a sexual person. Yes, I understand that many kids don't have the kind of relationship with their parents where they can talk and learn about sex. I do see the need for giving information in a safe, non-judgmental way. And while I'd like to see abstinence promoted as the ONLY foolproof way to avoid the negative aspects of sex, I do think other methods of contraception should be taught as well. Teaching only one method, no matter which method it is, robs kids of the chance to make a decision. And no matter how much we parents might like to think otherwise, it is THEIR decision to make. That said, we can certainly tell them which way we hope they'll decide and why. I guess my biggest complaint about sex ed. in schools is that, while it goes too far in some areas, it often doesn't go far enough in others. Kids need to know how sex can affect their emotions, their thinking, their ability to trust, and their future as a spouse and a parent, as well as how to avoid pregnancy and disease. When we focusing on only the tangible aspects of sex, we reduce it a game of "catch me if you can." We imply that kids who manage to avoid herpes and early parenthood will automatically arrive at adulthood unscathed. There are many out there who would disagree. Young people of both sexes need to learn about personal dignity and healthy relationships. Then sex won't have to be a substitute for self worth. I could go on and on (I know, I already have). I just think it's imperative that our societal definition of sex ed. be expanded to include more than just the hydraulics and navigating the minefield of pregnancy and disease. You don't have to don a cloak of morality to help kids examine and understand the idea that sex can affect them on levels other than physical. A good sex education program would include factual biological information. And then it would raise questions about the other areas that would at least introduce the concept that the consequences of teen sex go beyond babies and HIV. It would NOT supply the answers, but rather encourage the kids to look to family, church and others who care about them to determine their moral values and decide accordingly.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Oct 10, '05
  3. by   rn/writer
    Okay, I don't know what the deal is. I've tried twice to enter my previous posts with paragraphs and each time it comes up in one big glob. I did start using a new keyboard so maybe the problem is on my end. I'd appreciate any ideas on how to fix this.
  4. by   nurse_elyse
    I think that sex Ed needs to be taught in school. There was a article in the local news paper the other night about children in 7th and 8th grade taking those "practice babies" home for 1 or 2 nights during the week to find out that being a parent isn't all that it's cracked up to be. One of the girls in my nursing class was talking about how she didn't think that it was right 7th and 8th graders were being asked to do this. Well, I guess the truth hurts when you find out, that in this county we live in, there were 6 babies born to girls ages 10-13 in the last 4 months! Not only did we find that scary statistic out, but there is also a thing going around in this fine county in Illinois, where oral and anal sex is being traded for favors because it isn't "sex" according to these jr high schoolers. Kids are so misinformed on sex, and it's scary. I don't agree with the abstinence rule, it doesn't work! They need more direction than "just don't do it". Just my 2 cents worth.
  5. by   psalm
    ...sex education. Does that include why postponing sex til marriage is the best? Maybe we think we are protecting our teens by providing how-not-to-get-pregnant information. Does a condom or the pill or abortion protect a teen from the feeling of being used, or the pain of rejection except for sexual use?
  6. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from jackie53
    ...sex education. Does that include why postponing sex til marriage is the best? Maybe we think we are protecting our teens by providing how-not-to-get-pregnant information. Does a condom or the pill or abortion protect a teen from the feeling of being used, or the pain of rejection except for sexual use?

    Absolutely not. That is why this issue is so dang important. You guys have all hit the nail on the head and it is time this country unified and came up with a national program for the health and safety of our youth to properly teach sex ed and all that goes into sex; abstinence, monogomy, mutual trust and respect, peer pressure, sexual undertones in the media, personal values, birth control, etc. etc.

    It must be an ongoing process that involves the school, the parents, and the community resources that teach our children self-respect and instill the confidence to say no and the common sense to protect themselves physically & emotionally if they chose not to say no.

    And to be perfectly honest, I think boys and girls should be required to attend separate sex ed classes. This would relieve tension/embarassment, allow focus placed on the differences in physical makeup, emotional states, and allow more freedom of discussion. What do you all think?
  7. by   Tweety
    Quote from stevielynn
    And I don't know what abstinence programs ya'll have been a part of but the ones I have been a part of talk in great detail about sex, the how-to's of sex, the STD's, the emotional risks also, the why's and wherefore's of birth control, etc. People don't just say no and don't talk about it - the consequences, the risks, etc.

    Isteph

    Things are a bit different in California Steph.

    Many sex-ed classes say "don't do it". Period end of discussion. It's too hot a topic so schools just sweep it under the rug, and the parents are too uptight to talk about with their kids, living in denial.

    So they learn false information from their peers, listen to some boy seducing them filling them with lies, or take risks.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    And to be perfectly honest, I think boys and girls should be required to attend separate sex ed classes. This would relieve tension/embarassment, allow focus placed on the differences in physical makeup, emotional states, and allow more freedom of discussion. What do you all think?
    We had that, it didn't make the tension or embarrassment any better.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    was SHOCKED to read how many people believe that sex education should not be taught in school at all, but instead left entirely up to the parents.
    I've seen the other half of this, where quite a few parents left it up to the school to provide sex education, but not bothering to see what the school included in theirs.

    Which to me was a recipe for disaster.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    But when you say 'sex ed', that implies separate content and 'programs' than just biology. Sexual reproduction and 'sex ed' are two different topics. There are programs out there that want to teach how to put on condoms, etc. That goes too far.
    To learn how to put on a condom?

    Great, so some kids gets a box of those things, and as a result of not knowing how thye're put on, either puts it on wrong, or scraps the idea altogether.

    I'm aware the box comes with instructions, but i seriously doubt some 14 year old is going to call the 800 number for additional help.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I agree that it should be taught in school. You cannot count and rely on the "outdated" or ( insert adjective here) parents. Sorry but not all parents are like you lovely and responsible people in this board.
    My parents made the effort to update their education on this.

    It should not be left only up to the school for this education.
  12. by   rn/writer
    I have heard of another option that can be used in addition to school-based sex ed. I don't remember where I heard or read about this but it seemed like a really good idea.

    The parents take a class in sex ed. that is geared to making sure they have the correct info AND teaching them how to educate their kids on both the physical and the emotional aspects of sex. Obviously, they can impart their own moral beliefs in the process.

    Of the huge group of parents who do not teach their children about sex, some are doofuses who shouldn't have had kids in the first place. But I'll bet a much larger percentage are those who simply don't know how to approach the subject or who aren't sure what to say or who feel uncomfortable because they have never been able to speak about sex openly. Such a class could help parents learn how to connect with their kids and establish safe communication in an area where, for all their bluff and bluster, I think many kids would like some help in navigating the rocky terrain.

    This should probably be an ongoing thing starting in grade school and reconvening every couple of years (or even every year during puberty) to prepare the parents for the next set of changes. A side benefit could be communication among the parents about what dating rules they hope to set for their kids, ways they can set reasonable limits (checking to see that parents will be supervising parties, no couple "alone time" after school when parents aren't around, making sure kids don't sneak out during sleepovers, etc.), and the building of solidarity among like-minded families to provide an atmosphere of safety and accountability.

    It might give parents a real boost to know there are other families with the same concerns. And it could help them to connect with their kids on other levels. Sex ed. isn't just a packet of information to be handed off and that's the end of it. It's an ongoing experience that includes the context of sex as well as the particulars.

    We teach our kids about sex whether we intend to or not. Might be nice if we could band together as parents and help each other to help our kids.
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    "The parents take a class in sex ed. that is geared to making sure they have the correct info AND teaching them how to educate their kids on both the physical and the emotional aspects of sex."


    I like this concept.

close