Sex Education In Schools: Is There Such A Thing As ‘Too Early’?

African American Black child sitting at classroom deskWith the the possibility of politics dictating the future of free clinics like Planned Parenthood, R. Kelly’s sex crime allegations recently resurfacing and a spike in STDs among youth, sex education in schools is a hot topic. Just like other topics taught in school, sex education should be developmentally appropriate, sequential and complete, but the debatable question is what does this look like. There are some school districts that are starting sex education as early as elementary school. And with all that children are exposed to at such an early age through the Internet, TV, music and social media, do you blame them?

A 2014 article in The Atlantic referenced a study published by the  American Journal of Public Health that found, “On average, black and Hispanic adolescents receive less thorough educations on reproductive health and birth control than their white counterparts within the same income bracket.”

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On one side of the argument you have those who believe if you teach children about sex too young it will encourage them to want to have it. The other side feels the exact opposite. In fact, a study done by the Obama Administration in order to support the President’s push for comprehensive sex education in schools suggests that in comparison to those who received abstinence-only education, “teens who received comprehensive sex education were 50% less likely to experience pregnancy, 40% likely to delay sexual initiation, 30% more likely to reduce the frequency of having sex, and 60% likely to reduce the amount of unprotected sex.”

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Perhaps when we raise the bar for our youth, they’re inspired to meet or even exceed it.