Statistics show that of all the industrialized nations, American teenagers have one of the highest teen pregnancy rate. Many American schools do not teach a thoroughly comprehensive sex education. The main emphasis of many American schools are abstitence only sex education which apparently does not work.
Many parents are reluctant to teach their children the rudiments of a comprehensive sex education which includes subjects of contraception and/or abortion. To the estimation of some parents, educating their children about sex is equivalent to giving their children sexual license. These parents mistakenly believe that if their children do not know about sex, they will not be tempted to have sex.
In many European countries, there is an open discussion of sex in the schools and in the home. European parents routinely discuss all the aspects of sexual education with their children, including the use of contraception. It seems that European countries do not have the shame about sex that America does. If America wants to reduce the high incidence of unplanned teenaged pregnancy, there need to be a more comprehensive form of sex education other than the abstitence only method of sex education. Do you agree with this premise?
I do agree, but am surprised by how many times unplanned pregnancy is mentioned and STI's are not mentioned here once. I personally am more scared for my kids where STI's are concerned than unplanned/underage pregnancy. And I fell pregnant unplanned before I was ready (not due to lack of education however---I was one of the 1% that contraception didn't work for).
The fact is that if children don't learn about it from their parents or at school, then they'll learn about it from the boy up the road, or their older cousin, or by overhearing youths in the park... and hearing it from them; they won't be taught about respecting their own bodies and others, they won't learn about pregnancy or about STI's, nor will they learn about contraception.
I personally am very open with my daughter and believe I'm doing the right thing.
It never fails to astonish me the great numbers of parents who believe that burying their children's head in the sand is the best way to prepare them for the real world.
It's important to distinguish between pregnancy rates and birth rates. Europeans are more liberal about abortions so they have a smaller percentage of teen parents if you get my drift. But does that mean their teens get pregnant at a lower rate? I don't know.
You stated the reason in your OP. Some people believe teaching their children about sex is giving them permission to have sex.
But you can certainly understand that, right?
Denial of basic biology in favor of moral teachings comes with the territory.
Mighty Mom, it is totally incredulous that many parents and schools are threatened by the concept of a comprehensive sex education. Sex is a naltural part of life. Tweens and teenagers should be taught about the parts of the body, contraception, abortion, and being a responsible person regarding sex. Also safety precautions such as STDs and AIDs should be highly strerssed with its preventives. You are on target that many parents believe that it is "immoral" to teach such methodology regarding sex education. They are actually more comfortable with the abstitence-only sexual education program. Well, that apparently is not working. Teenage pregnancies galore!
Here in Australia, I remember being forced to sit through a movie called "The Price Tag of Sex" every two years in my Christian school.
The only message I took away from it was "Girls keep your pants on." Hardly mentioned the boys at all. Luckily I had a smart dad who explained everything including why it was important to be safe. Plus I stole his How To Give Your Child Sex Education book when I was ten. Gee did that freak me out!
Yeah, I think one of the best ways to keep children from having sex, especially girls, is to be completely honest, and do it early, well before they start thinking about boys. Tell them how it works, like, actually how, in words they can understand. Then show them a video of a live birth. Say stuff like, "You see there Little Suzy, that wave of blood and stinky goo coming out of the giant rip in her private parts is what happens when you have sex. Oh, and a baby comes out too."
Bam, problem solved.
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