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The Importance of a Comprehensive Sex Education

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The Importance of a Comprehensive Sex Education

Written by: Alyssa Tyler, Reporter

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In Kansas, the health requirements for a student to graduate revolves around nutritional and mental wellness. These requirements closely follow abstinence-only education, a form of education that has been funded by the government for nearly a decade. Abstinence-only education teaches the only way to prevent pregnancy and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) is by not having sex. While students are getting this type of education, they are also seeing sexual activity in social media and television. If young adults are not being educated about the basic laws and consequences of what sex can bring, they will not be fully prepared for the real world outside of high school.

Out of all developed nations (first world countries), America is ranked first in teen pregnancies and STDs, according to the NPR. To combat this, abstinence-only education was funded by the government in public schools. It has in fact done the opposite of fighting teen pregnancies and STD transmission. According to the NPR, this data shows that abstinence-only education as a state policy is ineffective in preventing teenage pregnancy and may in truth be contributing to the high teenage pregnancy rates in the U.S. A comprehensive sex education would revolve around safe relationships, types of STDs, how to use contraceptives and laws around sex.

STDs are sexually transmitted diseases, they are spread by any type of sexual intercourse with an infected individual. In the past seven years in Kansas, gonorrhea rose in ages 15-19 by 57.4%, reported KCUR. In whole, ages 15-24 take up nearly half of the 20 million reported cases yearly, according to HHS.gov.

 In a survey taken of 60 BLHS students, 23% of students did not know what the legal age of consent in Kansas is. In the same survey, 38% of the students did not know what statutory rape was.  Statutory rape is where someone under the legal age of consent has sexual intercourse. If students do not know what the basic laws around sex, they are risking more than pregnancy and STDs.

Out of the same survey, 40% of the students did not know the legal consequences of what could happen with statutory rape. If the younger party is 14-15 years of age, the consequences are a security level 3 (felony), 55-247 months in prison and a fine of $300,000.

Overall, sex will not stop affecting teenagers lives and futures. Teenagers will continue to have sex, with or without being taught to remain abstinent. Abstinence-only education will only leave students underprepared for their lives outside of high school. A sex-comprehensive form of education would help young adults realize the full extent of what sexual activity could have: pregnancies and STDs to legal consequences. Comprehensive sex education is the only solution to educate future generations of the consequences of sex.

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