Get Thee To A Sex Ed Class: More Kids Than Ever Having Unsafe Sex
No matter where you find yourself on the sex ed debate, nobody wants their child catching STIs or dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Whether you advocate abstinence in your home or make sure that your kids are up front and center in sexual health classes, not knowing comprehensible facts about sexual health and STI prevention is dangerous for kids.
Some new numbers prepared for World Contraception Day reveal just how dangerous: the number of young people having unsafe sex with a new partner increased by 111% in France, 39% in the USA and 19% in Britain in the last three years.
The level of unplanned pregnancies among young people is a major global issue, campaigners say, and the rise in unprotected sex in several counties has sparked concern about the quality of sex education available to youngsters.
In Europe, only half of respondents receive sex education from school, compared to three quarters across Latin America, Asia Pacific and the USA.
Abstinence should always be a choice for kids who are not ready for sex — for any reason. But at the same time, perpetuating certain mythologies about sex in the hopes that they’ll make certain choices ultimately does them a disservice. Jennifer Woodside, spokeswoman for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said it best:
“The results show that too many young people either lack good knowledge about sexual health, do not feel empowered enough to ask for contraception or have not learned the skills to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs (sexually transmitted infections).”
Giving children the facts about sexual health not only gives them the power to consent, but also the wherewithal to decline to participate.