Parenting

Birth Control on the High School Curriculum

Many states continue to emphasize abstinence over contraception, sometimes presenting abstinence as the only option. But on May 22nd, in a departure from current policy, in which abstinence is the only required curriculum for schools with sex ed classes. The Illinois Senate approved a measure requiring sex ed classes in state public schools to provide information about birth control to students. Governor Pat Quinn plans to sign it into law, according to a spokeswoman.

Previously, Illinois schools had three options when it came to sex ed: abstinence-only classes, comprehensive classes covering both abstinence and safe sex, or no sex ed classes at all.  Schools will now have to either teach the comprehensive sex ed courses or avoid sex ed altogether.

Proponents argue that abstinence-only education is not effective and that students should be taught about other methods of birth control and protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Opponents contend that abstinence-only education should remain the norm in schools, saying parents should decide how to educate their kids about sex.

By contrast in North Dakota, legislators are moving to block grant money to provide sex ed classes for homeless teenagers. While the first thought often goes to teen pregnancy, STD's are a major issue too.

Southern states report the highest percentage of students having had sexual intercourse prior to age 13; the highest percentage of students who have had intercourse with four or more partners; and the highest incidence of sexual activity without barriers or contraception.  All that translates, not surprisingly, into higher rates of STD infection.

The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) grouping of states consistently boasting the highest rates of STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, are also those with largely abstinence-only programs. This is not a coincidence: Young people who receive only abstinence-only education tend to engage in riskier sexual health behaviors once becoming sexually active.

A 2012 study from the Guttmacher Institute found that more knowledge about sexual health and contraceptives was directly correlated to a decrease in adolescent and young adult risky sexual behaviors, like having sex without barriers or contraceptives, and increased numbers of sexual partners. The study showed that teens who received comprehensive sex ed not only had lower rates of pregnancy but waited longer to have sex—effectively achieving what abstinence-only educational programs have been trying to encourage for decades: waiting to have sex.


See more in the 'Parenting' section

Comments


Be the first to add your comments




Comment on this article



Login to submit a comment

 

  Discover Card Miles Application

 

What we offer

GajGal is an expanding community of mothers helping mothers. Our motto “Get a Job | Get a Life” is based on the belief that for mothers wanting to get back into the workforce, finding a job with “the right level” of flexibility, empowers working mothers to live life on their own terms and better control their own destiny.
GajGal aims to address this “new reality” through four core components:

  • 1. Job Search and Matching tools to streamline finding the perfect fit for flexible work arrangements.
  • 2. Access to Benefits that in the traditional work environment have been provided by full time employers. GajGal helps to provide a critical mass of members to ensure access to a range of benefits options that we are continually working to expand and improve on.
  • 3. Working Mother Community to provide access to news, blogs and articles of interest and importance to working mothers and a social networking community that working mothers can interact with and draw on for support.
  • 4. The Entrepreneur Zone is for mothers aiming to start their own business and expand on the concepts of working mothers helping working mothers succeed.

Success stories

GajGal Testimonial

Shayne Duke
“Using your Benefits link made it easy to select from a wide range of health insurance offerings and narrow down the various plans available that best fit my needs. Being able to make a side by side comparison of the details further helped me make an informed decision on a plan with great rates. The application is swift and uncomplicated”

GajGal Testimonial

Amy Rogers
“ WOW this is a fantastic idea aimed at a true need. I have had a hard time preparing to go back to work after staying home with my two kids for the past 4 years. I am so excited to start adding my requirements and get started on the search. The Latest News and Benefits are an excellent idea. I would come here to read this even if I wasn't looking for a job right now”