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How Important Is Sex Education In Our Schools?


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Whether parents like it or not teenagers are having sex and at younger and younger ages. In order to protect these kids from having unwanted pregancies and STDs, we need a very strong and comprehensive sex eduacation program in our schools. I just don't understand these parents that want to live in denial about these things because they are jeopardizing their children's safety and future by their opposition to sex education classes. No matter what there is absolutely no justification for children not participating in sex education classes.

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That's good because, not necessarily your kids, but a lot of kids are having sex so they might as well be prepared.

Study: Half of All Teens Have Had Oral Sex

Slightly more than half of American teenagers, ages 15 to 19, have engaged in oral sex, with females and males reporting similar levels of experience, according to the most comprehensive national survey of sexual behaviors ever released by the federal government.

The report today by the National Center for Health Statistics shows that the figure increases to about 70 percent of 18- and 19-year-olds.

The survey, according to those who work with young people, offers one more sign that young women are more sexually confident than they used to be. A release by the center six months ago, based on the same survey results, showed that slightly more girls than boys have intercourse before they turn 20. In addition, other national data indicate that the same proportion of high school girls and boys have sex only one time with a particular person or have relationships with others that they are not romantically involved with.

"This is a point of major social transition," James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a reproductive health organization, said yesterday. "The data are now coming out and roiling the idea that boys are the hunters and young girls are the prey. It absolutely defies the stereotype."

The data also underscore the fact that, unlike their parents' generation, many young people -- particularly those from middle- and upper-income white families -- simply do not consider oral sex a big deal.

"Oral sex is far less intimate than intercourse. It's a different kind of relationship," said Claire Brindis, professor of pediatrics at the University of California-San Francisco. "At 50 percent, we're talking about a major social norm. It's part of kids' lives."

Bill Albert, communications director for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, put the generational difference this way: "We used to talk about sex in terms of first base, second base and so on. Oral sex was maybe in the dugout."

Until now, said Brindis, who has worked in the field of adolescent health for 30 years, researchers, policymakers and politicians could turn only to anecdotal evidence or small samples in order to gauge sexual behavior. Policies and programs were put into place that may turn out to be ineffective and put young people more at risk for sexually transmitted disease.

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