Monday, December 10, 2007

Let's Talk About Sex Education, Baby! Part II

As a follow-up to my last post about sex education in New York City public schools, I would like to mention that teenage pregnancy rates have risen for the first time in 16 years. Considering that many teenage girls who get pregnant do not plan on doing so, it is probably due to a lack of information about sex and contraception that these pregnancies happen.

This is why abstinence-only sex education will not be effective in NYC. In such a big, crowded city filled with things to do and places to go, it is only logical that young people living here will "grow up" fast, and have lives that include sexual activity. Teenagers are also, by nature, rebellious. Telling them a flat-out "no, you shouldn't" when temptation is right in front of them is a dangerous thing.

Each person has a right to make his or her own choices about when to be sexually active, but it is the job of the trusted adults in their lives to provide them with information that will help them be responsible.

While in other parts of the country the sentiment is that non-abstinence-only education encourages teenagers to have sex (which has resulted in large amounts of government money being spent on programs that just teach abstinence), the increasing teenage pregnancy rate seems to say the opposite.

As with all major life decisions, it is best for the choice to be left for the individual person to make after getting the right information, instead of the person blindly following instructions with no reasoning of his own.

So thank you, New York City, for rejecting abstinence-only sexual education funding!

No comments: