Sexual Education in the U.S.

School education must meet many standards, but its primary goal is to provide children with maximum information about the surrounding world. The knowledge gained at school serves as the basis for building a healthy life. It is impossible to continue studying or make a successful career without knowing, for example, the country’s language. However, there is one area that is very little covered in teaching but is critical for a normal existence in society. This essay aims to examine the problem of sex education in the United States through the analysis of a scientific article that investigates the topic.

First of all, it is necessary to understand why the issue of education on this topic is problematic. First of all, the essence of the problem is the lack of understanding by both sexes of the intimate process as such, the absence of awareness of the risks of genital diseases and pregnancy. Besides, the lack of a sufficient understanding of the functioning of the reproductive system leads to mass dissatisfaction with the process of intercourse, especially on the part of women. Therefore, it is vital to raise the topic in the form of various discussions, highlighting the multiple aspects of this issue. The aim of a study by Stanger-Hall and Hall (2011) is the effectiveness of currently implemented sex education programs that promote mostly abstinence techniques. Such sex education methods in schools were aimed primarily at reducing teenage pregnancy and the spread of sexual diseases. However, recent evidence suggests that pure abstinence policies are not sufficient enough to address existing problems. In this regard, the authors propose an introduction to the middle and high school comprehensive educational courses, telling about the characteristics of the reproductive system, and social courses.

For the most precise and detailed analysis of the existing problem, the authors used several sources of information. Having obtained the necessary data, Stanger-Hall and Hall (2011) performed a statistical study, nonparametric (Spearman) correlations, and multivariate analysis. In this case, the sources of information were statistics on teenage pregnancy and the spread of diseases, and the level of emphasis on the issue at the federal and state legislative level. Among other things, attention was paid to four factors: socioeconomic situation, educational level, ethnic composition, and rejection of Medicaid services (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2011). The collection of data received from 48 states allowed a detailed analysis using the methods described above, which ultimately will enable determining the level of influence of the existing educational courses on the spread of the problem.

The first part of the findings is focused on the current legislation of each of the states reviewed. According to the analysis, the most notable teenage pregnancies were observed in states that adopted an abstinence-only education approach (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2011). Concurrently, states, where abstinence was only discussed as part of a comprehensive plan, saw significant reductions in teenage pregnancies. From a socioeconomic perspective, there is a clear negative correlation between average household income and education levels about abstinence and adolescent pregnancy (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2011). This information suggests that lower state household incomes are contributing to that phenomenon. Besides, a clear link was found between educational abstinence laws and the concentration of certain ethnic groups. States with higher proportions of black teenagers have seen more considerable attention to such legislation (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2011). Finally, the study found that educational attainment and access to healthcare did not influence the prevalence of teenage pregnancy.

The last point is a kind of limitation since there was a discrepancy in some of the sources studied. Besides that, this study did not encounter significant limitations of any kind. The analysis was carried out among a large number of states. The information obtained made it possible to qualitatively and effectively analyze the situation from all angles, taking into account both socioeconomic and ethnic factors. The authors themselves do not highlight any point that would hinder their research; therefore, this article can be considered complete.

Thus, the research conducted by Stanger-Hall and Hall at its core boils down to a single conclusion: current sex education methods are not working correctly. Although there are states where such courses focus on more than just abstinence, there is practically no educational institution covering all the fundamental sex education issues. This topic is either touched on only from one side or several, but rather selectively and incompletely. That is why the article fits the subject of study in sexuality education in the United States. The analysis clearly shows that the current education system in this direction is incomplete and does not correspond to the needs of reality. The laws being introduced on the state level only exacerbate existing problems. Following this, it is necessary to reform sexuality education and develop new legislative acts at the federal and state levels. Finally, it is essential to introduce comprehensive educational programs in schools that talk about the need for abstinence and contraception, sexual diseases, and sexual culture in general.


Stanger-Hall, K. F., & Hall, D. W. (2011). Abstinence-only education and teen pregnancy rates: Why we need comprehensive sex education in the US. PloS one, 6(10), e24658. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. "Sexual Education in the U.S." October 9, 2023.