The Broward County, Florida, School Board is considering expanding its sex education curriculum to younger students, and would cover topics such as abstinence, human development, contraception, HIV prevention and decision making. This is a hot topic of debate in South Florida, where supporters overwhelmingly dominated public opinion at a school board workshop this week. This isn't just an important issue in Florida; it's important to students across the nation.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 22 states and the District of Columbia require public schools to teach sex education. Shocking statistics when according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 47 percent of all high school students say they have had sex; and 15 percent of high school students have had sex with four or more partners during their lifetime.
Comprehensive sexual education is the right thing to do. The delusional thinking by those against it is that providing comprehensive sex education in schools is an endorsement of sexual activity. So instead, in the richest country in the world, we are forced to learn about sex on the streets.
Here's objective reality: whether you like it or not, teenagers are going to have sex. They always have and always will. The average teenager has been exposed to more sexually explicit movies, games, magazines, and other materials than older generations have in our entire lives. As much as some Americans would like to hold on, the days of Ozzie and Harriet are over. Teenagers are bombarded by sex; what they are lacking is sex education. They're learning lovemaking through porn.
Are we too emotionally immature to educate our kids about one of the most beautiful parts of life? Only 22 states require their public schools to teach sex education, which is an embarrassment for a country that claims to be progressive. Our public school system is still debating whether or not providing condoms in schools promotes sexual promiscuity. Condoms don't promote promiscuity, HORMONES promote promiscuity! Giving students access to condoms doesn't increase their odds of having sex, it just increases the odds that they'll have safe sex.
I remember sneaking into a drug store when I was in high school to buy condoms. It was a painful experience because like most Americans, I was programmed in church to be ashamed of my sexual desires.
Our outdated school system refuses to adequately educate our children on how to harness and safely navigate the most powerful force in nature. We spend our entire lives guessing how to be sexually successful when excellent information could be built into our school curriculum. The root of the problem is religious dogma and the leaders who perpetuate it. Until we either update these archaic sexual beliefs or ditch them altogether, we will continue to suffer the consequences of conscious and purposeful ignorance. The problem is, our political and spiritual leaders are either living in the past or are terrified to evolve.
Sex is an undeniable force that can manifest itself positively or negatively, but make no mistake: it will manifest itself -- and it usually starts at an early age as the statistics prove. Critical thinking says it's time to pass legislation that mandates comprehensive sex education in all of our public schools. The results will be a decrease in unwanted teenage pregnancies, less transmission of dangerous sexually transmitted diseases, and teaching our young adults the real truth about sex in a safe and secure environment.