Imagine your child growing up and being ashamed of their bodies because they are taught that sex and masturbation are wrongful or that having sex before marriage makes you “dirty, used, and impure”. Abstinence programs have been the norm since sex education was made a necessity back in 1991, yet there is a overwhelming evidence that it is non-inclusive, not effective, and very flawed all together. Yet, since 1991 we have spent over 1 Billion dollars adapting these programs that aren't even effective. Because of the ineffectiveness of abstinence programs in schools we should have a sexual education reform. Sex education reform would allow greater knowledge, and money saved from the government, and a happier, safer, and healthier community.
Abstinence programs aim to achieve “standard sexual activity” “and ingrain in people’s minds that sex outside of marriage can and will cause physical and/or psychological effects. These programs are growing exponentially from 1996-2008 with more than 1.5 billion dollars spent on them from big groups like AFLA (Adolescent Family Life Act), Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program, and the Community-Based Abstinence Education grant program, the Bush administration also highly favored it and funded it. Yet, with all of this support 7% of men were virgins when they were first married and 20% for women. 10% of men and 22% of women say their first sexual encounter was with their spouse.
Now we know that the programs are not as nearly effective as we expected to be especially with so much money put into them. What gives? Along with that, there are many gender issues involved as well. Men are supposed to take the dominant role in “sexual matters” and women are to be “vulnerable and passive”. This is a MAJOR issue because this implies that male sexual assault is not only invalid but is paid for to be not possible. This is dismisses 3% of the American male population that were raped and or sexually assaulted from ages 18-24, This is an extreme issue that must be touched upon.
Another large issue on a lot of minds is that the LGBT community is being ignored, along with other non-conventional means of sexual intercourse. This leaves a HUGE amount of teens and adults out in the blue feeling abandoned and useless when it comes to sex. Referring back to my introduction, abstinence programs are supposed to follow “standard sexual activity”. Which does not include gay, lesbian, or trans individuals who make up 10% of the us population that are over 18. This leads not only LGBT people but also straight people, to learning from the media about gay sex which is not an effective way at all.
I suggest to create a new sex education program that not only not shames sex before marriage but also embrace sex and a beautiful thing for anyone and teach everyone about how to do it safely and consensually with whomever they are with. So Mrs. or Mr. President, I ask you to please reform sexual education in schools and take account of the current issues with it, and if you take action there will be benefits for all genders, sexualities, and religions.
Alexander, Calah. "Abstinence Education Programs Incorporate Shame and Guilt." Do Abstinence Programs Work?, edited by Christine Watkins, Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context.
"Why Sexuality Education in Schools Needs a Major Overhaul [analysis]." Africa News Service, 26 May 2016. Opposing Viewpoints in Context.
"Abstinence Education Programs Are Not Effective." Do Abstinence Programs Work?, edited by Christine Watkins, Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context.