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As ofonly twenty-four states require that sex education be taught, only ten of those states require that this education be medically accurate, and only nine states require that consent is included in sex education Fay, Health and sex education is an important and valuable subject taught in school because it impacts every student. Inadequate sex education can lead to a myriad of physical, emotional, and mental consequences that could affect an individual for a lifetime. A lack of comprehensive sex education is also directly linked to higher rates of sexual violence. One study found that when students received comprehensive sexual education before entering college, they were ificantly less likely to be sexually assaulted while in college Santelli et al.
Hirsch, who cited comprehensive, sex-positive health education as one of the most fundamental prevention interventions for young adults. Fortunately, Maryland can be counted among the twenty-four states that require that sex education be taught. In the age of COVID and distance learning, it is particularly important to incorporate best practices of comprehensive sex education into school curriculum.
According to an article written by Planned Parenthoodsex-positive education focuses on how to have safe sex and healthy relationships. The curriculum is based on age-appropriate lessons. An example of sex-positive education for younger students is a lesson identifying activities that make students feel good like playing with their friends or helping their parents with chores.
By doing this, children practice normalizing talking about what makes them feel good. While many parents may be afraid that introducing sex-positive education in schools will encourage sexual activity, the opposite is true.
When schools acknowledge that sexuality is a part of being human, students have healthier relationships. Combining inadequate education on LGBTQ experiences with the lack of trusted adults for children and teens to talk to about LGBTQ sexual health, they turn to the internet or peers where they have a higher chance of getting inaccurate and inappropriate information. Inclusive sex education helps students understand sexual orientation and gender identity at an age-appropriate level.
Overall, comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive sex education not only benefits LGBTQ students by giving them a safe space to learn and ask questions, but all students by exposing them to different types of people and relationships. Comprehensive sex education is an often overlooked, but powerful form of sexual assault prevention, and one of our greatest opportunities to create a generation of informed, empowered youth dedicated to violence-free communities.
The Education Team. Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. Fay, L. Jones, R. Santelli, J. Does sex education before college protect students from sexual assault in college?. PloS one13 11e Sedgh, G.
Adolescent pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates across countries: levels and recent trends. Stanger-Hall, K. Abstinence-only education and teen pregnancy rates: why we need comprehensive sex education in the U. PloS one, 6 10. Walters, M. What is Erin's Law? Erin's Law. FrontlineMCASA's quarterly eNewsletter, features articles on different topics related to sexual assault prevention and response.
Your donation supports Maryland sexual assault survivors and their families through programs such as the Sexual Assault Legal Institute SALIwhich offers free legal services, as well as our work to pass tough legislation that holds sexual assault offenders able for their crimes. By Morgan Descoteau, Program Intern, with contributions from Beth Wynkoop, Prevention and Education Policy Advocate As ofonly twenty-four states require that sex education be taught, only ten of those states require that this education be medically accurate, and only nine states require that consent is included in sex education Fay, References The Education Team.
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Comprehensive Sex Education in Schools as Primary Prevention