Why we need sex ed. at JC

Michelle Grant, Section Editor

I have never gone to a sexual education class in all three of my years at Jefferson City High School. Not only have I not received proper information on safe sex, but neither has the rest of JC. In fact, most other teenagers attending high school in Missouri haven’t either. This is because Missouri is a pro abstinence state. Abstinence, or not having sex until marriage, is implied as the only form of “safe sex” in Missouri. This obviously has not worked because most teenagers are sexually active by the age of 17, according to kidsinthehouse.com.

I believe that teaching teenagers only about abstinence has resulted in unplanned teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and little to no knowledge of what proper consent is. Most adults know that teenagers are having sex, but seem to ignore this fact. Because of this conservative attitude, teenagers are not educated about how to have safe and consensual sex. Not knowing what consent sounds or looks like can unfortunately result in a rising number of rapes. It can be possible that the offender didn’t know that consent wasn’t given.

Educating young people starting anywhere between 7th to 9th grade on safe sex could reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and rape. Sex ed starting in middle or high school can prepare students for their future. Many people argue that teaching kids about safe sex encourages them to have sex, but I do not think it encourages sex, but rather prepares teenagers for when they do decide to have sex. Most people have sex in their lifetimes, so it is better to be prepared and educated than to know nothing because teachers don’t feel comfortable teaching on the subject. I feel as though implying that abstinence is the only form of safe sex makes sex a taboo topic. It makes it hard for teenagers to get the help they need. We need to start talking about important issues at hand, like proper sex education for the well being of our future generations.