Sexual education in public schools requires an update to help adolescents make informed and responsible choices about their sexual activity and health. While it is known that a large majority of adolescents in public schools engage in some kind of sexual activity, most of them have never had a properly developed, comprehensive, and updated sex education course. With the prognoses of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it is imperative to provide students with reliable information on how they can prevent them.
The future of sex education in public schools requires more openness and attention to facts as well as acceptance of sexuality as a normal and healthy part of human life. Programs that push for abstinence and prohibit any type of sexual activity have shown to be ineffective as they shame sexual expression, which is bound to take place. Moreover, abstinence-only sexual education curricula cannot result in positive outcomes for adolescents’ health because it is often inaccurate, contain unproven claims, subjective conclusions, and false statement on gender traits, the beginning of life, and reproductive health.
Future sex-ed programs must be comprehensive and cover all relevant information to decrease the likelihood and rates of unprotective sexual encounters. Well-informed students are more likely to make healthier choices for themselves. Encouraging awareness is possible through discussing topics on how to sustain healthy and respectful sexual relationships, how to avoid STDs, matters related to LGBT+, as well as knowledge of one’s body and its physical needs. More openness and acceptance are imperative within sexual education curricula to enable the development of confident, informed, and well-rounded individuals who make healthy choices about their bodies, reproduction, and sexual activity.