We Are Survivors 

This blog is dedicated to the tens of millions of adult survivors of child abuse and neglect who get up every day and try to work and function in a world that seems to not care about us.

Sex Education in Schools

Back in 1959 when I was in the 6th grade, I sat through a health class where they talked about girls’ menstrual cycles. What they didn’t know was that I had been sexually molested by my father during the previous eight years. I am sure that same scenario is still playing out today in schools all over America.

Age-appropriate sex education in schools that presents valuable information for children and teenagers is not only needed to provide accurate guidance to them about the pitfalls of ill-informed behaviors, but could also provide an avenue to identify child sexual abuse.

In 2004, National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Kennedy School of Government conducted a survey on sex education in America.[1] Listed below are some of their findings.

Remember: These are the parents answering the questions, and the information shown below represents the highest/most frequent/most common response to the questions asked.

What do you think is the most important problem facing teens today?

  • Use of alcohol or other illegal drugs
  • Peer pressure/relations with peers

I am going to read you a list of issues that teens today may face. Please let me know how big a problem you think it is for teens in general.

(The parents responded that the problems shown below were a “Major Problem.”)

  • Unwanted pregnancy
  • Getting HIV/AIDS and STDs
  • Poor academic performance
  • Violence
  • Use of alcohol or other illegal drugs

Do you think it is a SIN for unmarried adults to engage in sexual intercourse or not?

A very high majority said “Yes.”

How important do you think it is to have sex education as part of the school curriculum?

A large number said, “Very Important.”

Earlier we asked you a question about abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for school aged children. How were you defining the word “abstinence”?

  • A large majority included in their definition of abstinence: sexual intercourse and oral sex
  • Smaller numbers included in their definition of abstinence: sexual intercourse, passionate kissing, and masturbation

I am going to ask you about certain things that might be included in sex education programs in schools. Please tell me whether you think it is an appropriate topic.

A very large majority said the following issues were an “appropriate topic.”

  • The basics of how babies are made, pregnancy, and birth
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Birth control and methods of preventing pregnancy
  • Waiting to have sexual intercourse until married
  • How to talk with a girlfriend/boyfriend or partner about “how far to go” sexually
  • How to put on a condom
  • How to use and where to get contraceptives
  • How to deal with the emotional issues and consequences of being sexually active
  • How to talk with parents about sex and relationship issues
  • Abortion
  • How to make responsible sexual choices on individual values

What do you think schools should teach about homosexuality?

  • A little over half said, “Teach only what homosexuality is without discussing whether it is wrong or acceptable.”
  • About 1/5 said, “Teach that homosexuality is wrong.”
  • About another 1/5 said, “Schools should not discuss homosexuality at all.”

NOTHING IN THE SURVEY ASKED ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE OR RAPE.

Find our more information about traumatized children in schools by reading my posts:

Traumatized Children in Schools [TCS]-Part 1, TCS-Part 2, and TCS- Part 3.

 


[1] Sex Education in America: http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2004/jan/kaiserpoll/publicfinal.pdf

 

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