The Things People Forget in the Heat of the Moment
The task of instructing adolescents about sex has been seen as the responsibility of the parents for many years. But, parent-child communication in sexual matters may be hindered by parental inhibitions or by various intergenerational tensions. Children often times do not receive information on sexual matters from their parents, at least initially. Due to sex related information available to children through mass media, the education board has deemed it necessary to evaluate and change sexual education.
The course work has evolved drastically from the idea of teaching merely about sexual reproduction and focusing on abstinence. Rather, now it is important to deal with sex-related topics in the media through more sophisticated and comprehensive programs, deemed necessary to institute in the public school system. This of course has brought about several conflicting views about the course work within the program, raising social and ethical questions here and there.
Although the idea of educating such young people about sex is viewed as strange, or as wrong, or even as immoral entirely, it is necessary for the well being of young people to be educated about these matters. Failing to teach young people about sex is like playing a ‘friendly” game of Russian Roulette; the risks are vast, danger is unknown, and death may stare one in the face. Often times failing to teach properly the risks of something causes a lack of knowledge, almost like ignorance, especially regarding the subject of sex.
Disastrous consequences can come about because of insignificant information about sex and sex relations. For example, thoughts of pregnancy surface with the lack of protection, but additionally, risks include the possibility of venereal disease spread, such as Gonorrhea, Syphilis, or HIV, in the absence of contraceptives. These serious circumstances are often taken lightly when in ‘the mood” and one must be educated fairly well to understand the extreme importance of safety. This safety may include birth control or forms of contraceptives like male or female condoms, to ensure that one’s health is never undermined at any cost.
Lack of monogamy and smart sexual relations has made it imperative to take ‘safety precautions”, as comical as it may sound, to ensure that one”s health is not jeopardized. In similarity, Russian Roulette is a game of risks, much like sex. Although the stakes are rather different, sex of late and Russian Roulette alike are merely gambling with one”s life. It seems it might be wiser to choose the latter as a means of destruction. After all, a life stricken with some disease associated with sex can have disastrous effects on one’s physical body.
For instance, John, an eighteen-year-old freshman at the University of Pennsylvania illustrates this perfectly. He was diagnosed two years ago with a virus he can never be rid of. Diagnosed at the age of sixteen with herpes simplex one, he lives a stressful life, often ridiculed because of constant outbreaks of sores, not only on his genitals, but also in and around his mouth. He dreads the next outbreak everyday, and wishes with every frequent recurrence he had taken the extra ten seconds to put on a condom, for if he had done so, life would be more pleasant (“FAQ About Genital Herpes”).
In addition, take for example Maria. Maria is a junior at Lake Springs High School. She too had a sexual encounter she wishes she could take back. One evening at a party, she drank a few drinks, and before she knew it, she was having intercourse with a man she hardly knew; she couldn”t even recall his name. Now, Maria endures extensive treatment weekly of AZT to hinder the debilitating effects HIV has on her body. She will grow weaker until the day she dies, all because of an unprotected sex act (“Education”).
This information heightens the need for education regarding the proper care and safety precautions one must take when sexually active with another person. With the game of Russian Roulette, though, just one pull of the trigger and there are 1 in 6 chances, one swift blow. In addition, cases exist of Russian Roulette players who are uneventful in killing themselves, yet do serious damage to their brain, causing them to be quadriplegic. Teaching the dangers about sex is not an easy task. No easier is learning to accept consequences, but these must be taught during adolescence for it to be better embedded within one”s thoughts.
In addition, danger regarding sex coincides with the risks one takes when the decision to consummate a relationship is made. Teaching youth about the risk of pregnancy and the likelihood of contracting one of a vast array of diseases that range from completely curable with little discomfort, to long, drawn out, and debilitating incurable diseases one must endure the entirety of their life. One could say that a person walking down the street each day puts himself or herself in danger; that there are risks everywhere, and this need not be taught at school, for it is common knowledge.
This may be true, but the idea that one can protect themselves from potential danger just by being informed should be basis enough to incorporate a more advanced sexual education course curriculum in the public schooling system. For instance, instead of focusing on abstinence, which is purely opinion, focus on the fact that by the age of 15, more than 18% of U. S. teens have experienced sexual encounters and that by the age of 20, 40% of Caucasian women have conceived at least one child (“Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors”).
Focus also on the likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted disease; focus on the facts, focus on the statistics. Take Russian Roulette for comparison to these dangers associated with sex. Potential dangers are obvious; holding a gun to one”s head and pulling the trigger, the danger seems quite substantial. This means of suicide can be compared to that of unprotected sex. One can illuminate the idea of unprotected sex as a way to commit suicide. A person not knowing the dangers of sex, and a person holding a gun up to one”s head, not thinking that there could be a bullet within the pistol display the same ignorance.
The lack of information or education about these two instances could be devastating. Knowing the dangers, but still taking the risk, sex seems a lot like the game of Russian Roulette. Proposals need to be made to fulfill both parents and adolescent concerns in addition to societal needs to incorporate a more advanced form of sexual education. Perhaps issuing more of a homework-based class via an Internet website could fulfill these concerns. The idea in mind would be to lessen a student”s awkwardness of a classroom setting, yet still understanding the necessary material presented.
This being beneficial because students are still learning about the subject matter and it would increase a parent”s morale about this course matter, for their children are learning about sex within their home rather than in a classroom, where sexual tensions may be embarrassing. Another proposal is to include the curriculum within already established courses. Academics such as English and History can hold intimate classroom conversation about this subject matter relevant to course curriculum.
This means of incorporating the sexual education material within required classes would guarantee that sexual education be at least introduced to these younger individuals. It is not necessarily automatic that one will contract a venereal or sexually transmitted disease, neither is it definite that when the trigger is pulled, the bullet will come raging through for a short journey through the skull. The risks are there though; the danger is there. Without an education to outline these risks and dangers, the results a lack of education would be devastating to society.