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Sex Education, What is That? No, Seriously!

Posted by Ryan Morgan on February 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM

As a product of SC systems, my experience with learning about SexEd was a snap of the fingers brief and unforgettable and confusing.

By: Stephanie Bryant

Stephanie Bryant, a native of Columbia SC, is a Senior Communication Studies major at Columbia College. Bryant aspires to purse a career in Public Relations post graduation.  

In 2013 are we still afraid to speak on the 3 letter “S” word in SC public school systems? Let alone properly teach our youth about “SEX” and the repercussions that can occur if not taken seriously, if abstinence is not being practiced.

As a product of SC systems, my experience with learning about SexEd was a snap of the fingers brief and unforgettable and confusing.

I remember learning about condoms in elementary school, because a classmate brought some to the playground one day, explaining to us that it was a “special” balloon that “grown up” people use for fun. In middle school we learned that our bodies are changing and that practicing abstinence was the only way to stay safe until we became married. (Staying safe from what, no one knew!) In high school, of all places, we didn’t even have anything relatively close to “Sex Ed.” My Biology teacher, obviously uncomfortable, briefly discussed to my 10th grade class the reproduction system, its functions, and how they “worked.” As far as asking questions regarding condoms, birth control, HIV/AIDS or STDs, we were kindly told to sign up for a health class (optional elective) offered in the spring, or to simply ask our parents.

Seriously, what teen wants to talk to their parents about sex, condoms, or birth control without receiving the 3rd degree?

After reading “25 Years and 250,000 Teen Pregnancies Later” I found myself chuckling when I glanced across a statistic that stated 75% of SC School Districts are noncompliant with the CHEA (Comprehensive Health Education Act).

Well clearly all of my schools were in the noncompliant percentage.

In 1988 The Comprehensive Health Education Act (CHEA) was passed to standardize health education and sex education in public schools. Well 25 years later, and a host of unplanned pregnancies and the spread of HIV, it should be safe to say we need sex ed reform desperately.

Sex education should not be a topic we take light-heartily in the state of South Carolina. Not when 19% of SC middle school students are engaging in sexual intercourse, and 50% for SC high school students. Let’s forget about shoving 100% abstinence down the throats of our youth, when in reality either they're engaging in sexual intercourse, or see peers around campus obviously pregnant out of wedlock.

How about we teach them how to have healthy and safe relationships?

It’s time that we stop just reading and quizzing our students (if that) on what the definition of AIDS/HIV and STDs are, when on average, 68 cases of chlamydia or gonorrhea are reported among SC adolescents.

Our teens deserve more than just definition terms.

SC students deserve to be taught by trained, qualified and certified health teachers about sex and health education vs. suffering the consequence of unwanted pregnancies or STDs, due to lack of knowledge. Matter of fact, it is proven there are ways to prevent teen pregnancy, HIV and STDs, prevention that students have to right to be granted education from the school and not, from second hand resources, such as the media (TV, radio, magazines etc.) or even their friends. A reform in sex ed is better than NO sex ed at all.

It’s about time we all take a stand and support reforming the Comprehensive Health Education Act.  Email your legislators today and tell them you support comprehensive health education!





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