Students need comprehensive sex education

Not teaching sex education causes problems that could be avoided with an appropriate amount of education.

Because BSM is a Catholic school, the programs taught are tied to Catholic beliefs and teachings. Sex education at BSM is a direct product of this, teaching abstinence-only education. Although BSM’s Catholic ties force the school to adhere to certain methods of teaching, abstinence-only education is detrimental to students.

Teaching abstinence comes with many benefits. Abstinence is the only form of birth control and STD prevention that is 100% reliable, so it is understandable why teaching abstinence feels like the best choice. However, no matter how much teachers preach abstinence, they will always have at least some students who don’t listen, and therefore, it is important there is some sort of education on safe sex.

It is extremely important that BSM reaches outside of its Catholic comfort zone to teach safe and healthy ways to have sex.

— Aspen Konowalchuk

Teaching safe ways to have sex is important. According to the Advocates for Youth, students are 50% more likely to experience an unintentional pregnancy if they are taught abstinence-only education. Another study done by this organization found that, “Abstinence-only education programs are not effective at delaying the initiation of sexual activity or in reducing teen pregnancy.” Also, according to Advocates for Youth, comprehensive sex education programs delayed sexual intercourse for kids. Along with that, students participating in this same program caused a 60% reduction in unprotected sex. These statistics prove that teaching safe sex helps students know how to have sex while lowering the risk of pregnancy or STIs. BSM needs to provide students with sex education programs, since only teaching abstinence does not change students decisions on whether they want to have sex or not.

It can be argued that students at BSM pay for a Catholic school education, and so the parents and students understand what types of sex education programs will be taught at school. However, there are numerous students who aren’t Catholic, which means no matter what BSM tells them about the Catholic views on sex education, they have their own views. The best way to solve this problem would be to continue teaching the Catholic views on abstinence and explain to students that abstinence is the only belief of the Catholic Church, but then extend its curriculum to teach safe sex to those who aren’t Catholic or do not choose abstinence. It is extremely important that BSM reaches outside of its Catholic comfort zone to teach safe and healthy ways to have sex.

There are plenty of ways to educate people on sex education while still addressing that according to the Catholic Church, the only way to be considered “chaste” is to wait until marriage to have sex. If students who don’t associate with the Catholic Church or disagree with abstinence never get proper sex education, they are more likely to participate in unsafe sex and will potentially receive health problems which can later be spread. With an appropriate amount of sex education in all schools, the amount of teen pregnancy and STIs could significantly decrease, and that is why sex education is necessary not only at BSM, but all high schools.