Sex education has always been the mainstay of public education in the US for a long. But recent research in the field shows that only 50% of the adolescents are receiving it. And that too remains below the minimum national standard.
Sex Education For Adolescents
The study reveals that a vast majority of American adolescents are not getting sex education. Obtaining the same is a must to be able to handle the pressures of sex life.
A team of researchers studied the data on almost 8000 American adolescents in the national survey of family growth during a time period of 2011-2015 and 2015- 2019. They discovered that only 50% of them received sex education that meets the national requirements. Over 75% of the adolescents got instructed on how to say “no” to sex. 60% received instructions on birth control. The study also found that 85% of adolescents were informed about birth control.
Another discovery that worried experts is that a considerable percentage of adolescents don’t receive any education on staying safe from STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) before moving on to physical intimacy.
Scientists also observed significant gender and racial disparities in the field. Girls are taught to wait to have sex until marriage. Males, in the meantime, will learn about the use of condoms. Furthermore, whites learn more about birth control, staying safe from STDs, and refusing sex than blacks and Hispanics. The same applies to queer and straight youths. Straight youths generally receive more sex education than their queer counterparts.
Here is what you should know about offering sex education to your children:
Ours is a society rife with sexual images, languages, and gestures. Children are exposed to all these before they are prepared to handle them. At age 12, they are forced to be informed of their changing hormones. But society continues to tell them; not yet. Do the following things to ensure that your child is able to handle the pressures of sex life as a teenager:
- Do not ever try to demean love. Try to understand the importance of romance in the life of a teenager. Be aware of the strong feelings they may have towards a person. Try to be understanding even if your definition of love is different from that of your child.
- Don’t shy away from offering sex education to your child. If you fail here, someone else will step into the vacuum.
Children look at other adults and learn from them. Media, culture, friends; their sphere is vast. Be the first one to make them aware of the sexualized world around them.
- Start talking about sex earlier. Your children may not hear you. They may not even remember your advice. Some may even pretend not to listen, but listen to you intently.
- Don’t present a list of don’ts. Parents say that they talk about sex to their children. But what they often present is “sexuality talk” that offers a list of don’ts to their children. Their restrictions will begin somewhere like; avoid having sex. Getting pregnant is sin. The list will go on. Instead, present them a list of do’s. Let them know how to stay safe from STDs. Teach them to say no when they don’t want sex. Help them learn how to determine the real goal of the other person. Let them know when their friends view them as just sexual partakers.
Finally, be practical in your conversations. Bust myths and offer reliable information. Even when using simple language, you have to respect their smart and bright brain.
Be alert; let your children learn about sex from you, not from strangers.