Fewer schools are teaching students everything they need to know in sex education, especially about HIV, which is super dangerous–because, as you know, HIV leads to AIDS. HIV and other STDs, in addition to teen pregnancy, are really risky, and if you’re not getting a full, comprehensive course in sex education–on everything from abstinence to condoms to LGBTQ issues–you’re probably going to be even more at risk for these dangers, because you won’t have all the info you need to prevent them and have safe, satisfying relationships.
What’s more infuriating and baffling about the lack of funding for sex education? The consequences of a lack of sex ed are a lot more expensive than simply teaching students how to make informed decisions about their own sexual health. The tax dollars that go toward public assistance for those with unplanned pregnancies, as well as the medical bills for those who contract sexually transmitted diseases, far outweigh the costs of teaching students how to use condoms, birth control, and maturity in sex education classes.
The lack of HIV education in sex education isn’t just because of less funding, though–it’s also because of fundamentals. A lot of conservative communities and school districts provide abstinence-only sex education, which was been proven time and again to not be very successful in terms of encouraging students to be safe once they do decide to have sex. Additionally, because of stigmas associated with HIV (many conservative groups still assume that it’s a “gay only” disease), a lot of schools don’t teach about it at all. WTF?!
What does work? Giving you all the necessary information about sex, STDs, birth control, and disease and pregnancy protection possible. When you have knowledge, you have power to make your own informed decisions for what’s best for you. You can’t do that if you don’t know what all of your options are.
On the bright side, students are taking a lot more responsibility and a lot more precautions in their sex lives despite the hindrances to sex education. The Center for Disease Control says that fewer than half of high school students have had sex, and that those who have had sex generally have fewer partners–and that 60 percent of those who were sexually active used condoms. That may explain the plummeting teen pregnancy rate, too!
Good job, girls–even though your schools may not giving you the best sex education, you’re still informed enough yourselves to make good decisions and stay safe.
Has your school been affected by the budget cuts for sex education classes? Does your school still offer sex education? Do you think sex education classes should be abstinence only or more comprehensive? Tell us in the comments!