The Instigator
DirtRoadAnthem
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
ademaio
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

Sex Education Should Be Taught Rather Than Abstinence only

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
DirtRoadAnthem
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,119 times Debate No: 15425
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (5)

 

DirtRoadAnthem

Pro

I will be arguing Pro, in that Sex Education is more beneficial to the student in that it will allow for a safer and healthier life-style. Con will be arguing the opposite that Abstinence only programs are more beneficial to the students.
Abstinence-only sex education is defined as "a form of sex education that emphasizes abstinence from sex, and often excludes many other types of sexual and reproductive health education, particularly regarding birth control and safe sex."
http://en.wikipedia.org......

Sex Education will be defined as a term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, contraception, and other aspects of human sexual behavior.
http://en.wikipedia.org......
Beneficial is defined as "conferring benefit; advantageous; helpful"
http://dictionary.reference.com......
ademaio

Con

Please be more specific on the term "student". Are we referring to any point in education or more specifically middle school to high school? In addition there are many different definitions of abstinence. Are we debating over abstinence programs that forbid all sexual behaviors or just avoiding sexual intercourse?

I will argue that teaching abstinence will cause more individuals to chose this and therefore avoid many circumstances that that student may not be ready for. Circumstances that would be potentially harmful socially, psychologically and to ones overall health.
Debate Round No. 1
DirtRoadAnthem

Pro

By student I meant at any grade level, but more so Junior High or High School more when these techniques are more pertinent. And we are debating on abstinence programs which forbid sexual intercourse.

I will argue that sex education provides individuals on how to stay safe during sexual intercourse, can prevent pregnancies, and will allow for a safe sex life for these teens, rather than just knowing "abstinence only".
ademaio

Con

When schools motivate students to avoid sexual intercourse they are presenting the healthiest way to handle sex at a young age. Abstinence is the ONLY certain way to 100% avoid teen pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases.

By refraining from sex, young people have the opportunity to build positive relationships with a boyfriend/girlfriend and avoid any pressures that it may entail. In addition they can see the maturity that involves with making the decision to engage in sex. If a young girl decides to have sex she should also be ready for any repercussions that may result. A teenager is not equip with the life skills needed to deal with pregnancy and a child if it comes of there actions.

Teaching abstinence in schools promotes the importance and maturity that the decision to engage in sex entails. It doesn't give the teenagers any choices because there is no room for failure in a teens young life when it comes to sexual transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy.
Debate Round No. 2
DirtRoadAnthem

Pro

Abstinence is the only way to 100% avoid pregnancies, but abstinence does not teach you about safety when having sexual intercourse. Avoiding pregnancy is the key to safe sex education, because you are learning how to have sexual intercourse without ending in pregnancy. By teaching about contraceptives, these individuals learn how to use them properly and in a way that will and often does prevent pregnancy, but does allow those who are in a committed relationship, and are ready to take that next step. Safe sex education gives individuals knowledge about the prevention of STD's and how to check if you have one. Safe sex education advocates being tested regularly and before having intercourse.
Safe sex provides a choice for students. Unlike abstinence, individuals have a choice as to what to do with their bodies. They can choose to have intercourse in a safe manner, or they may abstain. If they have sex or not is the choice, but either way, due to safe sex education, whether you have sex or not,you are armed with the knowledge of how to have sex safely, and how to protect yourself from the various STD's there are.

"When used correctly, a male condom is about 98 per cent effective. This means that only about 2 in every 100 women would get pregnant in the course of a year." This is an interesting fact about how effective condoms alone are, and when paired with another contraceptive, such as birth control pills, pregnancy is practically obsolete.
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk...
ademaio

Con

When you arm students with the knowledge on how to deal with sex than there are certainly going to try it.
Teaching teens about sex and how to prevent pregnancy and STDs while also encouraging them to not do it will confuses teens. You're saying "here is how" but "don't do it". When you learn about something it strikes a natural curiosity. If you then tell them it is completely safe to go forward in having sex than it will ultimately loose the importance in the eyes of the students. Sex is something that has to be handled with caution because even if contraceptives can make the situation 98% safer, there will always be teens who do not use contraceptives correctly or at all. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC), "In 2009, 34% of currently sexually active high school students did not use a condom during last sexual intercourse."

When a teen can't remember to do there homework or study for test what makes them qualified and responsible enough to deal with mature decisions about sex. A "committed relationship" is not something you commonly find in a high school setting. Even if a high school is very passionate about each other that does not qualify them to be parents if the situation occurs. According to the CDC "In 2002, 12% of all pregnancies, or 757,000, occurred among adolescents aged 15-19."

My argument still stands that abstinence is the best way to approach sex when dealing with students. It is 100% safe. Students are less likely to try and experiment when it isn't being discussed as an option. After all, if they have sex and make a mistake than they will have to live with that decision for the rest of there lives.
Debate Round No. 3
DirtRoadAnthem

Pro

"When you arm students with the knowledge on how to deal with sex than there are certainly going to try it.
Teaching teens about sex and how to prevent pregnancy and STDs while also encouraging them to not do it will confuses teens. You're saying "here is how" but "don't do it". When you learn about something it strikes a natural curiosity. If you then tell them it is completely safe to go forward in having sex than it will ultimately loose the importance in the eyes of the students. Sex is something that has to be handled with caution because even if contraceptives can make the situation 98% safer, there will always be teens who do not use contraceptives correctly or at all. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC), "In 2009, 34% of currently sexually active high school students did not use a condom during last sexual intercourse."
What I believe my opponent is saying is that by giving students knowledge on how to deal with sex, they will go out and as soon as possible use this because they now have the knowledge. Also, there would be mixed messages because students would be taught how to have sex but be told specifically not to have it.
Giving individuals the knowledge on a topic would not make them go out and do it. This would be like saying, by teaching about how a dictatorship is made in a history class, students would use this knowledge and go out and use it. By gaining the knowledge, individuals can use this to their advantage, and know how to fully protect themselves keeping them safe, something that abstinence only education lacks. Abstinence only education does not provide any form of knowledge other than "don't have sex until your married." There is no discussion of contraception, protection, or how to be safe while having sex. The main focus for this debate is how to keep individuals safe in the long run, and safe sex education provides this safety because of the knowledge that is gained on contraceptives and STD's.

While agree there will always be those who do not use contraceptives, even after learning safe sex education this would come down to them not using the knowledge that was passed on to them. One could say that a person who learned abstinence only, if they do not use the knowledge passed on in that class(being don't have sex until marriage), odds are they will definitely not use a condom because they may not know what it is. They do not have the knowledge to protect themselves, whereas a person who learned safe sex, does have this knowledge, and ultimately the choice is theirs to use it or not, but it is advocated to always use protection.

My main goal in this debate was to prove that individuals who learn safe sex education have the knowledge to live healthier and safer lives, and often will. They know how to use condoms and other contraceptives, and they do use them. They get tested for STD's prior to having intercourse, and their partners are also tested because they learned to be cautious through safe sex education. The knowledge that is given is what will make them live healthier and safer lives because when sex does come up, they have the knowledge to protect themselves, whereas those who learn abstinence only may not be tested or use contraception if they fail to follow "save yourself until marriage".
ademaio

Con

"They know how to use condoms and other contraceptives, and they do use them. They get tested for STD's prior to having intercourse, and their partners are also tested because they learned to be cautious through safe sex education."

This is a complete assumption that students will take the knowledge and apply it. We teach our kids to use sunblock to protect themselves from sun poisoning but they will continue to leave the house without it. We also show a concrete link between cigarettes and smoking and yet 20% of teens are still smoking cigarettes according to the CDC.

Just because we are arming them with directions doesn't mean that teens will follow them and see the importance behind them. Abstinence is a clear concept to advocate and it is 100% effective against pregnancy and STD's. There is nothing stopping teachers from teaching about STD's in school. By teaching students what could happen if they aren't safe they will have more understanding of why sex is a big decision. A decision that should only be brought up when a student is mature and ready to handle the emotional and social effects that follow.

Overall, I am arguing that sex education is entrusting kids to follow what may be the most important directions of there life. If they skip a step than it could change there lives forever. There is a reason that age restrictions apply to legal contracts, consuming alcoholic beverages, joining the army or even owning a gun. All of these things require a level of responsibility and maturity that a student doesn't consistently posses. I am not implying that every person over the age of 18 is responsible but it is certain that an 18 year old will have more since of danger than a middle school student at 13 or 14 years of age.

Teaching kids how to have sex is advocating it is okay as long as it is done right and there is not certainty it will be. Schools are teaching a 13 year old boy the steps in how not to impregnate his middle school girlfriend. Abstinence is advocating to refrain from sex till mature and emotionally ready.
Debate Round No. 4
DirtRoadAnthem

Pro

It would also be an assumption saying, if people are told to remain abstinent until marriage they would. This is a big thing to ask of people, especially because humans do have hormones and natural urges, so it would also be an assumption to say that learning abstinence only is preventative. Asking a person to hold off from having sex seems a lot harder than asking them, if you do feel you are ready, and your partner is also, use protection.

"If they skip a step..." This is a perfect statement, because it illustrates there are steps in having safe sex, under the guidelines of sex education. Within abstinence only, there is only one step, which is "Don't have sex until marriage", and if this step is skipped, odds are there will be pregnancies because contraception will not be used, because the individuals did not learn about it. Having the knowledge sex education provides at least allows the individuals the choice to have sex in a safe manner, and protect their bodies. This does not exist with abstinence only because there is no transfer of knowledge on how to be safe.

Safe sex education does not advocate sex. It does not say " you now have the knowledge so go and use it and use it as soon as you can!" This would be completely absurd. What it is meant to do is provide knowledge for those who are ready, and those who will be ready in the future to be safe, and keep themselves healthy. The main goal is to allow individuals and students, when they are ready, and know they are, to be safe during intercourse.

Safe sex education provides safety, and allows the students to make healthy decisions because they know the repercussions of having unprotected sex. They know the various STD's and how to get tested, and if there is ever any doubt about their safety, they know what to do. Those who learn abstinence only may not know the risks of unprotected sex, other than pregnancy. They may not know about STD's because they may not have been taught. Safe sex education allows the ability to protect, and prevent disease.
ademaio

Con

My position on the argument still sides with the undeniable fact abstinence is 100% effective against pregnancy and STD's.

"Studies have shown that abstinent teens report,
on average, better psychological well-being and
higher educational attainment than those who are
sexually active.4 Delaying the initiation of or reducing
early sexual activity among teens can decrease
their overall exposure to risks of unwed childbearing,
STDs, and psycho-emotional harm. Authentic
abstinence programs are therefore crucial to efforts
aimed at reducing unwed childbearing and improving
youth well-being (http://www.eric.ed.gov...)."

In addition to being 100% safe they will feel less social pressure. There is no reason a child should be worried about sex. Students should be focused on there education, hobbies and sports. Peer pressure and unwanted influence is a realistic matter amongst kids and it just brings upon a completely avoidable stress. Talk about sex should come later in life when students are older and able to listen maturely. Sex education is not needed in high school because it opens the door for a subject that's students shouldn't be acting upon until after graduation.

In addition, if a individual wants to have sex before marriage, because they have that freedom, they are certainly able to speak to an adult about the matter whether it be an older sibling, a counselor, a nurse, doctor or parent. If a parent agrees that is it important that there child learn to be safe than by all means teach them.

Smoking comes with a chance a cancer. Sex comes with a chance of pregnancy or an STD. If you aren't old enough to join the army and defend our country than how can you be old enough to raise a child.

Sex education comes with the assumption that teens will know and apply the information at the right time in the correct way. It certainly would not be enough to prevent students from making mistakes because overall that is all they are. They are only students, aged 12 and up. They just finished ordering off the kids meal at McDonald's and can finally ride safety in the front seat. Sexual behavior is for mature and consenting adults. By law the age of consent wouldn't even take effect until students are in there last years of high school and preparing for college. Let's leave adult topics at the door and let kids be kids.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Chrysippus 3 years ago
Chrysippus
"We also show a concrete link between cigarettes and smoking "

Con, I don't think that anyone has ever disputed the link between cigarettes and smoking.
Posted by Ryanconqueso 3 years ago
Ryanconqueso
I'm surprised pro didn't jump on the pending contradictions by con. She had mentioned numerous times the misuse of information, "rebelling", and irresponsibility of teens. Therein the students being irresponsible with abstinence only are worse off because they will rebel and do something carelessly in the first place.
Posted by Spaztoid 3 years ago
Spaztoid
I too am inclined to side with pro here, however looking at the arguments posted by ademaio I must say that they are by far the most well reasoned arguments for Abstinence Education that I have ever seen.
Posted by Jillianl 3 years ago
Jillianl
I'm with wolfhaines. When did we ever come up with the conclusion that knowledge equals making a bad choice???

I'm a big advocate for sex ed at home and at school looooong before puberty hits. Children who have knowledge about such things BEFORE they have to experience the emotions and hormones of puberty is the best time. They can evaluate and know about their options without anyone having to worry that they're going to have sex just because they were told how it's done. Then when the time comes that they DO hit puberty, they will not be having sex EVER without knowing the FULL consequences and without knowing how to protect themselves if they so choose.

Ignorance is what breeds mistakes, not knowledge.

Kids can find out how to have sex at any age and at any time. The idea that sex ed actually introduces the idea that they can have sex is absolutely ludicrous. Kids know and have known for years. What they may not know, is how to protect themselves when they do have sex.

Not to mention that all of the abstinence only programs out there have either utterly failed, or have not been any better than a sex-ed program. Taken with the fact that the same number of kids have sex regardless of the type of program clearly makes abstinence only a rather thoughtless approach, since at least with sex-ed the same numbers of kids who had sex used protection.
Posted by wolfhaines 3 years ago
wolfhaines
In Europe, especially the northern countries, sex education is taught from a very very young age, either by parents (who introduce the facts from the seconds kids start asking questions), or by school systems that have realised that introducing children to sex from a young age means they are less narrow minded when it comes to options later in life, either abstinence or safe sex. Children have no sexual desires, therefore teaching them doesn't produce a flurry of sexual activity when they reach pubity. Children are, however, inquisitive, so leaving them ignorant will make them want to explore their new found teenage desires. The exception would be the UK, whose conservative attitude has led to it having the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe.

If you formulate an argument around preventing pregnancy then logically sterilisation is also an option. In the civilised world we pride ourselves on freedom of choice, don't we? Educate them, advise them, and then support them if they do make a mistake.

For that reason, I am more inclined to agree with PRO.
Posted by DebateGirl 3 years ago
DebateGirl
I agree with Heathen. If schools did have an abstinence program how many do you think we show up? BUT if they had just sex education teens would feel less pressure to be abstinent & more pressure on just having safe sex.
Posted by Heathen 3 years ago
Heathen
I dont even think my school has an abstinence program
Posted by DebateGirl 3 years ago
DebateGirl
Schools simply don't have enough sex education! They should take sex ed seriously because that will help prevent pregnacies. Lets be honest waiting until marriage isn't that common anymore..
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Ryanconqueso 3 years ago
Ryanconqueso
DirtRoadAnthemademaioTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro maintained the composure and rebutted as necessary without over dramatizing and reiterating the same information
Vote Placed by Jillianl 3 years ago
Jillianl
DirtRoadAnthemademaioTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro could've done a better job, but I still agree with their arguments regardless.
Vote Placed by boredinclass 3 years ago
boredinclass
DirtRoadAnthemademaioTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made many logically fallacious arguments. I err pro on the fact that con provides no impacts of sexual activity and provides no reliable source
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
DirtRoadAnthemademaioTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: "When you arm students with the knowledge on how to deal with sex than there are certainly going to try it." - really, better not teach people about nuclear weapons then.
Vote Placed by lliwill 3 years ago
lliwill
DirtRoadAnthemademaioTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good debate, a little repetitive