Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Sex Education


No Uniform Support for Sex Education

Importantly, school-based teen sex education is not uniformly supported by all adults. Public opinion polls in the U.S. consistently find that the majority of parents want sex education at the high school level as a realistic response to demonstrated high rates of sexual activity among teens (as evidenced by pregnancy and STD rates among teenagers) and the potentially significant health and social consequences of uninformed teen sex.

Since the advent of AIDS, almost all states have implemented AIDS prevention curricula in their schools that, unavoidably, include sex education. Parental support for AIDS-related sex education has been found to top 90 percent of sampled parents. Even among parents who support sex education, however, there have been debates about what the curricula should include (e.g., should abstinence be emphasized, should birth control methods be discussed, does contraceptive knowledge lead to sexual experimentation) and at what age specific sex education information should be introduced. There also have been debates about whether schools should dispense condoms to sexually active students.

Some people believe that sexual education should only be conducted in the home, thereby insuring that parents will be free to transmit their own moral values regarding sexuality and sexual activity to their children. Some parent groups have been formed to protest the implementation of sex education and related programs (e.g., teen HIV prevention education) in public schools.


More to Explore