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When "just say no" does not work

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The United States and the statistics of teenage pregnancy and STIs.
  3. The lack of a federal law about sex education in schools.
    1. Narrow-minded approach to sexual education.
    2. Ignoring the fact that most teens are already sexually active.
    3. Sex - equated with death, disease, and danger.
    4. Motivated by fear of sex and fear of God to stay chaste.
  4. Proposal.
    1. The curricula in schools to be more comprehensive.
    2. Conduction by either well-informed teachers, school nurses or medical professionals.
    3. The courses should be required to be taught in schools by the federal government.
    4. The Religious Right should not have control over reproductive rights and education.
  5. Conclusion.

Growing up in a small suburb of Tulsa was an experience one might want to soon forget. I grew up in Glenpool, Oklahoma for the first eighteen years of my life. It was a small, poor suburb with only one school. Despite all the churches in Glenpool, which numbered eleven at my last count about five years ago, and all the lives that were hindered by bearing a child at a young age, teenage pregnancy ran rampant at Glenpool. I remember at least 22 girls that were pregnant in their teens, and most of those were just the ones that were in my grade or went through with childbirth. There is no knowing just how many abortions, or escaped school-wide knowledge about the pregnancy had. These 22 were just the ones that walked the halls swollen and tired, trying to complete high school while they were pregnant or that were notably absent after having dropped out. One of the girls I remember being pregnant was infamous for having her first pregnancy while she was in seventh grade. She had two additional children by the time she graduated.

[...] Dutch policy for sex education recognizes that sexual responsibility does not equal sexual abstinence. Weaver also says that by emphasizing abstinence, it endorses that all sexual health problems are reduced to sexual activity itself instead of poorly informed or unprotected sexual activity (182). The approach the U.S. is making is obviously misguided. Abstinence only curricula also uses appalling tactics utilizing fear as a deterrent, what Representative Lois Capps of California calls "terror techniques" (Rose 1208). A disturbing video displayed to middle school audiences called "No Second Chance" intersperses the idea of premarital sex with images of men dying of AIDS. [...]

[...] Abstinence only has proven an ineffective method, the effects only lasting a short term of 6 months (Borawski 432). Weaver points out, however, that Dutch students, on the other hand, who receive extensive sexual education show that skills based sex education does not lead to younger sexually active teens or an increase in the number of sexual partners. The Netherlands has some of the lowest pregnancy and STI rates, yet only of students surveyed thought premarital sex was wrong or immoral. [...]

[...] does not have a federal law about sex education in schools. It is up to the individual states to regulate it and currently only 35 states require HIV/AIDS or STI education. The education that students primarily receive is abstinence based, but the government is pushing for abstinence- only (Weaver 176,177) or not pushing for any education whatsoever. For instance, the Senate rejected an amendment on July for education awareness and abstinence programs to be used to attempt to reduce teen pregnancy rates (Targeted News Service). [...]

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