Schools Are Providing Teens With Less Sex Ed Than 10 Years Ago

You’ve probably read about how the STD rate has significantly gone up in the past ten years. People have blamed Tinder, the “new” hook-up culture, and reckless teens. But it turns out we may be able to blame our conservative government for the recent uprising in STDs.

Schools are actually doing a worse job teaching sexual education than they were 10 years ago, a new study from The Guttmacher Institute shows. If you felt like some of America’s political parties seemed to be going backwards in time, you were right.

In the study, researchers compared data from the National Survey of Family Growth, looking at statistics from 2006 to 2013. They found that the number of teen girls who were taught about birth control dropped from 70% to 60%, the number of teen girls taught about STDs dropped from 94% to 90%, and the number of teen girls who were taught about HIV/AIDS dropped from 89% to 86%. For a country that prides itself on our freedom and being ahead of the curve, we seem to be going backward.

While it’s concerning that our nation’s teens are becoming less educated about sexual health as time goes on, it might shock you even more that there are teens who aren’t made aware of STDs or birth control whatsoever. In fact, over 21% of girls and 35% of boys aren’t spoken to about birth control by their school or their parents.

While some school systems believe that not teaching teens about sex will prevent them from having it, you and I both know that teenage hormones can’t be stopped, and abstinence only education doesn’t work. Moreover, we’ve all seen naive parents who think their child is a sweet little angel, only to take them to the doctor and find out they have Gonorrhea. While it can be unsettling for a parent to acknowledge that their child may be having sex, wouldn’t they rather have a semi-awkward birds and bees talk with them rather than finding out that they’re pregnant three months later?

If a teen had access to a gun, would you teach them how to use it safely and properly? Or would you not speak of it and assume that if they don’t know about it, they won’t touch it? It’s easy for parents, teachers, and politicians to shield their eyes away from teens having sex, but ignoring the issue isn’t preventing it from happening. In fact, avoiding the issue is only leading to more teen pregnancies and the spread of STDs. There’s safety in education, not ignorance.

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