Sex Education in the United States of America
Education takes momentous place in creating a personality. Assuredly, there exist a large number of elements and factors that contribute to growth and becoming a developed person. Nevertheless, education is one of the weightiest factors because it gives enlightening information about the ambient world and knowledge about the objects and processes, which help a person to understand himself/herself and his/her place, role, and significance in the world.
Nowadays, rapid progress is observed in every sphere of people’s life. That is why it is essential to prepare children for a life where everything is developing extremely quickly. According to that, a number of educational subjects were developed in schools to prepare children for adult life and to show them all the opportunities of the present world. There exists one educational subject that is the most controversial and debatable. That is the branch of knowledge that deals with sex education.
Sex Education Is Utterly Significant
It is obvious that sex education is utterly significant. However, it excites the storm of emotions. The essential question, which emerges in mind, consists of incomprehension of the reasons for panic concerning sex education within society. Before considering the importance and discrepancy of sex education, it is necessary to find the reasons that caused the anxiety within a society.
The significance of children and teenagers’ sex education has been under consideration during recent years. Nevertheless, the persuasions concerning sex have been changed earlier.
About the Effects of The American Sexual Revolution
The American sexual revolution in the 1960s has altered the attitude to sex and intimate relationship. First of all, women’s sexual attitude and sexual behaviour became different. Consequently, men’s perception of intimacy changed also. That was the turning point. Women realized that since then it was possible for them to decide whether to become pregnant or not, whether to give birth to a child or not, whether to get married or not. The right of choice gave women a sense of independence and desire to change the general view about woman’s happiness and woman’s fate. Such a situation became advantageous for men. Males were permitted to change sexual partners without any consequences. At that period, the long-lasting relationship turned into sidelines (Greenwood & Guner, 2009).
The American sexual revolution had its consequences. One of the considerable positive effects of the revolution was the equality between men and women. The American sexual revolution’s consequences can be seen nowadays. At present, the equality between men and women is observed not only in an intimate relationship but in many other spheres of the life of society: home, workplace, politics, and economy. Nevertheless, the American sexual revolution had its negative consequences: sexually transmitted diseases, illegitimate children, teenagers’ pregnancies, and vast numbers of divorces. The immense difference between positive and negative consequences is obvious. That is why when the topic of conversation is sex education, people are in a panic.
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The previous changes concerning the comprehension of sexual relations had adverse influence and negative results on society. However, the fact is intelligible that the past cannot be altered; on the other hand, changing the future is possible. In the issue of the previous events, all the decisions should be weighed and well-considered, but it does not mean that any decisions should not be made at all. Inactivity gives the opportunity not to make mistakes, though it does not lead to any changes and any results. Fear of blunders and unsuspected complications is the main reason for a person’s society’s failures. It is obvious that inactivity is not the way to solve the problem. The issues should be decided, the decisions should be made, the problems should be solved, the difficulties should be overcome, and the fear should be conquered. Only in such a way a person and society in whole will overcome the fear of failure.
Social panic is a natural process when the previous adverse influence and negative results are observed. Moral panic is also essential when the topic of conversation is an intimate relationship and sex education. Nevertheless, it should be understood that in the time of rapid progress and accessibility of information, children and teenagers should be given all the required knowledge to comprehend the sexual relations and intimacy properly.
The USA Takes One of the Premier Places Concerning Pregnancies Among Teenagers
A large number of different enquires and researches have been made recently. Statistical data, which have been collected, show the tight situation. In the industrialized world, the United States of America takes one of the premier places concerning pregnancies among teenagers. More than 750,000 young women become pregnant in the United States of America annually, and more than 80% of these pregnancies are undeliberate and undesirable. In the United States of America, young people at the age of 15-25 compose merely one-quarter of all people who has an intimate relationship. Nevertheless, it is researched that each year young people at the age of 15-25 contact almost moiety of the 19 million sexually transmitted diseases (National sexuality education standards…, 2012). These numbers show the exigency of activities. Thereby, social and moral panic is the response to the events that take place in the world of the young generation.
It is obvious that nobody can prevent teenagers from sexual relations. The period of teenagers’ pubescence is the time when young people understand themselves as males or females. The interest and desire for the cognition of another sex are natural and essential processes. This is the period of trials and mistakes. The main task of adults is to explain the severity and consequences of teenagers’ trials and to prevent irreversible mistakes. It is significant for young people to understand the essence of an intimate relationship. That is why adults should be extremely attentive in order to catch the right moment when a young person is ready.
Nevertheless, there are many adults, notably parents, who feel themselves awkward to speak about sex and an intimate relationship with the children. It is a grave problem because, in order to speak with parents who are the nearest people, a young person should communicate with friends and use various information resources, namely books and the Internet, to learn some information. At the same time, nobody knows about the sources of information. The most serious question is whether the obtained information is positive or negative, and what knowledge young people get from such sources. That is why sex education in schools is so significant and necessary.
Schools give all the essential knowledge and the subject where sex theory is studied is not an exception. Teachers, as opposed to parents and various information resources, give young people information and knowledge about sex and intimacy from the scientific point of view. The subject’s programme is created in a way to show the students all possible negative results of their hasty actions. One of the main subject’s purposes is to attempt to explain to students that any decision should be made only after weighing all possible consequences. It should be added that an intimate relationship’s consequences are extremely serious, though many adults, not mentioning teenagers, do not think over this aspect of the matter.
Knowledge about Sex Is Considered to Be the Main Power
Knowledge is considered to be the main power. A number of researches in the United States of America approved the fact that after having included sex education’s subject in the schools’ programme, the rate of pregnancies, diseases, and abortions among young people has decreased (National sexuality education standards…, 2012). The knowledge does not change the fact of the presence of an intimate relationship in teenagers’ lives, though the knowledge alters the teenagers’ attitude to sex. Young people start weighing the consequences of the actions. The realization of an intimate relationship has transformed. Sex is comprehended as an essential process, though it became innermost.
What Is the Purpose of the Schools’ Programme of Sex Education?
Schools’ programme of sex education provides students not only with scientific knowledge and scientific point of view that concern sexual relations between man and woman. It provides also the moral issues of the matter. The main purpose is to explain to teenagers that intimate relationship is the result of mutual love and affection. Love can exist in two interdependent forms: spiritual and physical. The spiritual form of love depends on the physical one, and, on the contrary, physical form depends on the spiritual one. In case two people’s feelings are sincere, both forms of love give to lovers the storm of feelings and emotions.
Sex is the embodiment of a physical form of love, which is just the satisfaction of natural instincts without the spiritual form. Spiritual intimacy divulges another form of relations, which are based on mutual understanding, respect, interdependency, and empathy. Thereby, the school’s programme of sex education shows the students that sexual relations are not the only thing that is the most essential in a relationship of two people. It exposes all the variety of feelings that can make two lovers full-hearted.
Nevertheless, the attitude of society towards school’s sex education is increasingly negative and doubtful. It is obvious that the previous experience, with respect to the changes in the comprehension of an intimate relationship, has irreversible consequences. That is why the panic within a society is essential. However, turnabouts are natural. Turnabouts are evidence of society’s development. The main problem is in people’s consciousness. The conviction that people are fundamentally inclined to the worst caused the society’s rejection of the considerable changes. A person’s consciousness is developing during his/her life, as opposed to society’s consciousness. It is developing pending decades and, depending on the political, economic, social and moral changes, the society’s consciousness and relation to various issues are also altering.
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Nevertheless, the conception of temptation always reduced people to confusion and anxiety. That is why the belief in people’s inclination to the worst is essential and predictable. Moral and social panics are natural reactions concerning sex education of teenagers. Thereby, adults necessitate the young generation to mature more rapidly and demonstrate all the mysteries of adult life. However, it should be perceived that the present-day young generation grows up faster and, with current rapid progress, necessary information regarding any question and topic can be received easily. The most appropriate method to protect teenagers from insufficient information is to impart the right knowledge opportunely.
In spite of all reasonings and arguments, there exist groups of people, who are against sex education in schools. Numerous divergences of views, including controversies regarding sex education, touch upon political forces, religions communities, and ethnic groups. The main question is whether to study sex education’s subject in schools or it is unnecessary and useless. Parents also have different points on this question. The divergence of views and the failure to understand one another led to the panic within society.
Kristin Luker When Sex Goes to School: Warring Views on Sex – And Sex Education – Since the Sixties
The problem of teenagers’ sex education and disagreements concerning sex education’s subject at schools were covered in the book of American sociologist Kristin Luker When Sex Goes to School: Warring Views on Sex – And Sex Education – Since the Sixties. In the book, the author specifies, that first of all decisions that are made regarding sex education in schools are moral and political decisions (Luker, 2006). Political and moral disagreements existed in society at all times.
Nowadays, the divergences of views concerning sex education are the most abundant. People cannot find the resolution because the viewpoints in relation to sex and intimate relationship between man and woman are different. Some people are assured that sex is a natural and essential process, and there does not exist anything secret and shameful. Other people adhere to an opinion that intimate relationship is the sacrament that takes place between man and woman and does not belong to the group of topics under discussion. It is natural that the question or problem raises two opposite points of view, principally, when the topic of conversation is the sex education of teenagers. Though, the main problem is in the fact that the mutual assent is not reached. The vehement discussions that are held around the sex education of the young generation in schools lead to panic within society.
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In the book When Sex Goes to School, Kristin Luker describes the society’s division into two parties according to the viewpoints about an intimate relationship between man and woman and teenagers’ sex education in schools. These parties are sexual liberals and sexual conservatives. Sexual liberals believe that sex is a natural process. Adherents of this position consider knowledge as the power and are certain that children should be provided with sexual information as early as possible. Sexual liberals are firmly convinced that if children are given education and the right information, they will grow up more aware and sensible members of society.
Contraception and legal abortion are considered to be the favourable aftereffects of the progress. In turn, sexual conservatives insist on the fact that sex is a sacred process, and it should subsist only in marriage. It is believed that too much information can cause irreversible consequences, and contraception and abortion are the signs of the unhealthy relationship between man and woman (Luker, 2006). It is evident that adherents of each party have enough arguments for the support of a certain viewpoint, and it is utterly difficult to find the proper solution. Nevertheless, numerous controversies leave the question unsettled and, in addition to that, panic concerning school sex education increases within a society.
The Problem of Teenagers’ Sex Education in Schools
Unfortunately, the problem of teenagers’ sex education in schools exists and remains undecided. The sex education issue is considered extremely grave, though there subsist a large number of opponents who are against studying sex education’s subject at schools. The problem is contained in information and knowledge about whether children are grown and prepared enough to interpret it correctly. At the same time, the incontestable fact that with the rapid progress and accessibility of information, children already have the opportunity to receive all the necessary information should be taken into consideration. The essential question is whether the adults are capable of deciding which information and which knowledge are dangerous for the young generation.
Possibly, the adults are incapable of carrying the information on the score of private fears and experiences. Nevertheless, it should be taken into account that the condition of uncertainty leads to panic within society. Panic within a society endangers, in the first place, young generation. Whereas adults are deciding what is better for children, children are acting. At this point, there exists the main difference between adults and children: children do not think about the consequences, though adults are thinking about the consequences all the time and weighing all decisions. That is why the main task of the adults consists not in debating and encouraging the panic within a society but in upbringing children as competent members of a society.
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