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Sex education refers to the education about human sexuality. The education normally covers topics that are related to sex such as sex organs, reproduction, sexual intercourse, abstinence and emotional relations among others. Schools have been one of the identified locations where sexual education can be conducted.
This paper seeks to discuss the difference in coverage of the subject of sexual education by district schools. The paper will undertake the identification of the difference in the extent to which sexual education is being included in the curriculum of different school districts.
Importance of sex education
With the development of advanced media technology such as the internet and social networks, there is exposure to sexuality that carries a variety of sexual contents. The youth from tender ages are therefore exposed to diverse information about sex that calls for guidance into sexuality. This has called for the need to include sex education in schools curriculum in district schools. This will be very important as it will help in controlling misinformation on sex over the young age group.
Sex education lays facts about sexuality information based on academic research thus taking students from myths or false beliefs created by individuals. Adoption of sex education in school syllabus has also been identified to be beneficial to students.
According to Carroll, sex education drives away curiosity among students and students who engage in sexual education are reported to be less permissive to sex activities before marriage. The level of sex education availed to a student has also been associated with “self image and self acceptance” besides interpersonal behavior that include how the students may relate with people in future (Carroll 211).
Sex Education in School Districts
The level of sex education as reported by students indicates a variation depending on factors such as the level of study of the students as well as their schools. According to a research, high school students are more informed about sexuality as compared to students in middle schools. Such differences were also realized in the elements of sex education that the students are offered.
It is for example noted that more education is offered to students regarding abstinence and the control of sexually transmitted diseases as compared to education over contraceptives. Apart from the disparity in the elements of sex education with respect to study level, gender determines the level of sex education. Consideration of the use of contraceptives for example reveals more education being offered to girls as compared to boys (Guttmacher 1).
A study of sex education as was conducted in the late twentieth century reveals the same trend in the level of education with respect to level of study. During the period, it was noted that not all school districts were offering sex education as a significant number of students; about twenty percent never received sex education.
The topics that are included in the sex education syllabus also vary with some schools omitting topics such as “sexual relationships, communication and decision making, intercourse and pregnancy” (Sonenstein and Pittman 1). An analysis that was conducted by Dailard Cynthia revealed that about seventy percent of school districts have policies over sexual education.
The partial adoption of the policies by school districts is an indication that there is a varied level of adoption of the subject of sex in the schools with some schools having absolutely no policy for ensuring sex education. The number of school districts that offers sex education also varies from region to region. The identified regions, “northeast, south, Midwest and west”, are identified to have only a few schools offering comprehensive sex education and the number of schools that offer such educations vary from region to region (Dailard 11).
The variation is recognized with a higher percentage of schools in the northeast region offering comprehensive sex education while more schools in the south region offers more of abstinence based education and less on comprehensive sex education (Dailard 11). Instructors in schools are also a factor to the provision of sex education to students in schools. The basis of variation by region of sex education reveals a general opinion of the regions of what ought to be taught regarding sex.
This could be in relation to conservative believes that such topics as sex should not be taught to students (Dailard 11). This opinion is supported by the fact that legislations in different states over laws regarding sex education also vary. Since such laws are enacted by political representatives, it can be concluded that different regions have adopted different laws to regulate sex education. Variation in the education is also reported within states (Rigsby 1).
The application of sex education in among school districts varies depending on a number of factors. Some of the factors include regions, regional legislations and instructors. The variation in sex education is therefore driven by the level of conservativeness among societies according to regions.
Carroll, Janell. Sexuality Now: Embracing Diversity. New York, NY: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
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Dailard, Cynthia. Sex education: politicians, parents, Teachers and teens. Guttmacher, 2001. Web.
Guttmacher. Facts on American Teens’ sources of information about sex. Guttmacher Institute, 2011. Web.
Rigsby, David. Education law chapter: sex education in schools. The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, 2011. Web.
Sonenstein, Felix and Pittman, Ken. The availability of sex education in large city schools. NCBI. Web.