The Instigator
MPannullo
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
ashleymariet
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points

Should children be given sex education in schools?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
MPannullo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,811 times Debate No: 15517
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

MPannullo

Con

Parents should be the one to teach their own children about sex education. Young children these days are being exposed to mixed, unrealistic and confusing messages about sex on television and from their friends. Parents should teach their children because the school, media and their friends are not providing them with accurate information. Schools only touch on the subject of sex education and many kids do not take the class seriously. Parents are at the forefront of a childs learning from infancy. If parents watch television with their children they can clarify and explain many delicate topics and those in which the children see unrealistic and confusing information about many sex topics including relationships. Teens need access to accurate information about sexual and reproductive health. Schools are limited in what they can teach our teenagers. For example; Many teens are unaware that they can obtain a sexual disease from "oral sex". The think that because they are not having intercourse, they will not "catch a disease". Parents can provide complete sex education for their children.
ashleymariet

Pro

It has been proven that with more sex education in schools, the teen pregnancy rate, as well as the rate of STD's among young people is dropping as well. Though teenage pregnancy is still a problem, sex education is the most efficient way to get through to children. Many teens end up getting pregnant because of misconceptions about having sexual intercourse. It is apparent that if they do not receive accurate information, they rely on rumors and end up in situations where they begin to believe everything that they hear. In example, "you cannot get pregnant the first time," or when their boyfriends tell them "don't worry, this isn't sex."
Children need a safe outlet to explore all of the confusing thoughts and feelings that have to do with sex, without be judged. They need some place where they can ask the questions that they have and get accurate answers because unfortunately, many parents are not prepared to answer those kind of questions or they feel that the child is not "ready" for the answers. None the less, there are many children who do not feel comfortable talking to their parents about even the most mundane issues, forget about sex! It is proven that sex education opens up the lines of communication between parent and son or daughter. If you do not know how to approach your son or daughter, this is a great way to do so.

"Statistically, ninety-nine percent of Americans believe it is appropriate for young people to have information about STDs and ninety-four percent Americans think it is appropriate to teach young people about birth control. And more than eight in ten Americans believe that young people should be taught how to use, and where to obtain contraceptives."
Debate Round No. 1
MPannullo

Con

The teen pregnancy rate in the USA rose 3% in 2006, the first increase in more than a decade, according to data out today. The data also show higher rates of births and abortions among girls 15-19. The focus on abstinence and the shifts in pregnancy occurred about the same time," (usatoday.com) This proves that the way children are learning about sex in school is inadequate. Teens may not want to hear many things from their parents, however, they do listen to their parents when it comes down to it. They know that the information they are getting from their parents is real and true. I feel it is the parents responsibility to open up the lines of communications with their children about sex and an early age so their "teenage child" will come to them for information and value the information they receive from their parents. Statistics show that parents who are involved with their children's lives and open up the lines of communication with their children have better results. Federal funds are drying up for abstinence programs in schools (which aren't working anyway). Parents need to take responsibility for educating their children about these topics without judging them. I feel that the monies would be better spent education parents on how to open up the lines of communication with their children rather than running school programs that aren't producing good results or even improving results.
ashleymariet

Pro

That 3% rise was after the fact of the matter that the rate had already drastically dropped. None the less, this argument is not about using abstinence. It is about education children with facts that are informing them of the consequences. The kind of facts that are educating them about how a child, a pregnancy, etc., would effect their and their partners future. Not only should the program contain lectures about just the protection, diseases and outcomes but children need to learn about the different type of relationships and friendships because some children have a hard time differentiating the two at such young ages. It absolutely is the parents responsibility to educate their child and make sure that their child is doing the right thing but the real PROBLEM is how many parents do not do this. The state cannot force parents to open up lines of communication with their children if they are not comfortable in doing so. In result, the state must incorporate sex education into school so that are getting adequate information from SOMEWHERE. I understand that it is great to have parents who have great relationships with their children and allow communication about these types of things but it is a known fact that most parents do not or when they do, it is too little too late. The sex talk is never easy nor is it a comfortable thing to talk about. The parents are afraid of it and the children are mortified by it. "In the latest study on parent-child talks, more than 40% of adolescents had had intercourse before talking to their parents about safe sex, birth control or sexually transmitted diseases."

http://www.time.com...
In this article, there was a study done by experts.
"The study involved 141 families enrolled in the Talking Parents, Healthy Teens program, organized by the University of California Los Angeles/Rand Center for Adolescent Health Promotion and overseen by Schuster. Parents and their children, aged 13 to 17, responded to questions about 24 issues regarding sex and sexuality, including how women become pregnant, body changes that occur during puberty, how to use condoms and birth control, as well as issues around homosexuality.
Researchers asked both parents and their children, separately, when they had first discussed each topic, and compared that information to teens' self-reports about their engagement in three specific categories of sexual behavior — hand-holding or kissing; genital touching or oral sex; and intercourse. Families were surveyed four times, once at the beginning of the study, then again at three, six and 12 months.
By the end of the study, more than half of the parents reported that they had not discussed 14 of the 24 sex-related topics by the time their adolescents had begun genital touching or oral sex with partners. Forty-two percent of girls reported that they had not discussed the effectiveness of birth control and 40% admitted they had not talked with their parents about how to refuse sex before engaging in genital touching. Nearly 70% of boys said they had not discussed how to use a condom or other birth-control methods with their parents before having intercourse. Yet only half of the boys' parents, by contrast, said they had not discussed condom use or birth control with their sons."
Read more: http://www.time.com...
Debate Round No. 2
MPannullo

Con

I feel that since the schools are doing an inadequate job that it is up to parents to teach their children about sex. Even Planned Parenthood supports parent teaching. Their website has a page dedicated to helping parents talk to their children about this delicate topic and when (http://www.plannedparenthood.org...) This is a great website that explains to parents what information their child should know at what age...by starting with these basic topics and opening the communication at each level the child who will grow into a teenager will be comfortable talking to Mom or Dad. These conversations also make it easier for parents to "warm up" to talking to their child instead of just having to have that uncomfortable "sex talk" when their child reaches puberty. By giving children age appropriate information, they learn how to make responsible choices, take care of their bodies, have respect for others and self-confidence in themselves. By starting with simple communication and explanations of body parts when a child is young both parent and child will be comfortable talking about issues that come up regarding sex, relationships and reproductive health. Again, let me restate, that I feel the money should be spent educating parents on how to talk to their children from an early age. The pediatricians office would be a great place to get the information to parents. I bring up abstinence, because this is primary what is taught in schools, along with a little bit of sex education (using protection). All this does is leave us with misinformed, cynical kids who hear the message, "Don't have sex until you're married, and while you're not having it, wear a condom." The statistics are very clear: Seventy percent of teens will have sex by the time they are 19, and the median age for first intercourse is right around 17. Abstinence may be a nice philosophy, depending on your faith and belief system, but the complexities of human sexuality are rarely contained in simple slogans. So now is the time for parents to help their children build the philosophy of sexuality they need to have. Parents might not see their future teenagers adopting everything they believe, but eventually they'll come back to those ideals.
ashleymariet

Pro

So what if planned parenthood supports parent teaching? Planned parenthood has also been caught, numerous times, doing things they should not be. Just a couple examples, allowing underage prostitutes come in to get tested for STDs. A fake "pimp" walked in there with his underage prostitute and they actually condoned, even after hearing that he was trafficking these young girls, that they gets tested for STDs, etc., also, they have been caught performing illegal abortions. Regardless the wrong-doing that they have done, that is one source that does encourage parent teaching.

"The American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, Institute of Medicine, and Society for Adolescent Medicine, among others, support comprehensive sex education, including education about both abstinence and also contraception and condoms." All of these sources that promote and support comprehensive sex education are very credible resources.

None the less, you keep bringing up the subject of abstinence. Abstinence is not the answer and is also no part of this debate. That has been proven to do nothing and less than 15% of Americans approve of it anyway.

I want to stress that is it very important, and parents should be educated on these things but how many parents would actually go somewhere to be educated about this? They will claim that it is nothing that they do not already know and they can do it themselves. This will happen and they still will not talk to their children. It is unfair to not offer sex education to the children and leave it up to the parents because we cannot rely on them to do the right thing. Most parents will also attempt to scare there child out of having sex which is also the wrong thing to do.

Children need to become aware and understand the potential consequences of being physically intimate with another person. They needs to learn to appreciate and respect the perspectives of others, in particular with those whose sexuality differ from their own. They need to be exposed to these issues and responsibilities that come with becoming pregnant and they need to be exposed to the difficult decisions that have to made if this does happen that could affect the rest of their lives. The most up to date and important information will be given to the children at school. If a child has uneducated parents that have not had rough times with this subject or have never been exposed to it either, who is to say that their information will be accurate or relevant? It is so important that these children get sex education in school because this is where they will get the most up to date and universally sought out information. Just having the parents do it is not enough.
Debate Round No. 3
MPannullo

Con

I have brought up abstinence as part of this debate because it is what is "taught" to teenagers in school which is why the school is failing to properly teach sex education. My point is that what is being taught at school isn't worth the paper it's written on. Parents NEED to start teaching their children what they need to know, which is more than what is being taught at school! I agree with what children need to learn, but it's not being taught in school. Parents need to be responsible for their children.
ashleymariet

Pro

Being someone who just graduated high school 2 years ago, I will be the first to correct you and let you know that i was not taught abstinence. I was taught about all of the different types on contraception, STDs, relationships and everything behind that. They never taught us NOT to have sex. Also, i undoubtedly agree that parents need to be responsible for their children but that is not something that can be taught. We can recommend that they do these things but that does not mean that they are going to do so. Not to mention, there are a vast amount of parents who put so much emphasis on virginity, which teaches their children the opposite. Especially girls. Girls should not feel that the only thing valuable about them is their virginity and that if they choose to have sex, that they are worthless or have thrown their life away. And it is important that boys should not feel any less of a man if he chooses to wait for "the one" or for marriage. But that is the impression we are giving our children today.
Good sex education programs can teach teenagers, whether or not to have sex is a choice that deserves a lot of thought and consideration, it does not define who they are as a person.
I've said it three other times but I will say it again, parents can not be held responsible to make sure that their children gets this talk at the right time. Many parents will put it off and expect them to hear things from others. Parents, unfortunately, though they should be, are not enough of a reliable source for their children.
Debate Round No. 4
MPannullo

Con

Do you feel that school is teaching the right information and the right time? Or does that come to little, too late? Statistics show that many pre-teens are having sex BEFORE having any sex education course. One teen named Samantha states; "There's no magical "right" age to talk to your kids about sex. My mom first talked to me about sex when I was about 8, but we've had many talks since then. The talks come pretty naturally; my mom made it clear that she is always open to answer my questions. The first time I remember hearing about sex from other kids in school was fifth grade, so Wes is right, don't wait any longer than that." This may be the exception rather than the rule, but the morale of the story is that PARENTS NEED TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN before they get misinformation from other kids or misinterpret what they see and hear on television.
ashleymariet

Pro

Well just like if a parent were to speak to their child, it is easier the earlier that you expose them to it. The more often and regularlary you talk about something like this, the more natural and comfortable the conversation will become. I completely understand that the parents should be doing this but like I have said and will continue to say is that you cannot force parents to talk to their children about this subject. Easily, we can tell them. But just as easily, they could disregard it. Information can be given to the parents but who is to say that they will look at it? It is truly sad that most parents do not talk to their children about these things which is why sex education needs to be continuously carried out. There are many benefits of sex ed. and it is undoubtedly something that needs to be carried out, whether a small percentage people believe in it or not. Parents are not an adequate source for children to learn current and accurate information about sex. All in all, sex education needs to be done in the classroom.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Jillianl 5 years ago
Jillianl
MPannulloashleymarietTied
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: It seemed like they were arguing for different causes. Pro's points were more realistic. Many students will not get a proper education about sex unless taught in school, though I think Con is very correct that schools that teach abstin-only ed are failings their students.
Vote Placed by Aaronroy 5 years ago
Aaronroy
MPannulloashleymarietTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con is right...the schoolboard encourages sex more than discourages it...its the Parents responsibility to teach the child
Vote Placed by bluesteel 5 years ago
bluesteel
MPannulloashleymarietTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con only proves that parents *can* teach their children, not that they *will* teach their children. Pro argues that parents *don't*, so sex education is needed ins schools. Pro cites good statistics on the inadequacy of parental education.