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Sex Education In School

Sex Education In School

Teenage pregnancies have continued to bear their roots in societies all over the world. Sex education was introduced in the curriculum in schools in most countries all over the world to curb this menace. According to Fentahun et al., (2012), sex education is described as “education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights, and responsibilities, abstinence, contraception, family planning, body image, sexual orientation, sexual pleasure, values, decision making, communication, dating, relationships, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and how to avoid them, and birth control methods.” Following the HIV/AIDS pandemic of the 1980s and the increase in teenage pregnancies in the 1960s, there was an evident need for sex education for teenagers that would impact public health and policies (Hall, McDermott Sales, Komro & Santelli, 2016). Sex education was, therefore, implemented in the 1980s as a method of spreading knowledge on sex among adolescents. In the United States, sex education was introduced in the curriculum as Abstinence Only Until Marriage (AOUM) in the 1990s and was funded by the federal government and other aid programs (Hall, McDermott Sales, Komro & Santelli, 2016). Accordingly, some aspects of society limit the effectiveness of sex education in schools and include socio-cultural background, political background, and systems barriers. Do you need help with your assignment ?

The first aspect interfering with sex education is the socio-cultural background of the society (Hall, McDermott Sales, Komro & Santelli, 2016). Socio-cultural backgrounds involve the combination of social and cultural aspects, whereby cultural and social practices linked to adolescents may interfere with sex education. In some cultures, the elders of a community train the adolescents in sex education during their rites of passage. Introducing sex education to adolescents who might not be ripe for cultural training may cause disputes between society and the school. In most cultures, after sex education, the adolescent is described as an adult and is allowed to behave as an adult in most societies. The socio-cultural background may cause misunderstanding between the students and their parents on the efficiency of sex education. In contrast to cultural sex education, sex education in schools does not symbolize a rite of passage but is necessary to spread awareness among adolescents. The uncertainty about the right age to introduce sex education also contributes to socio-cultural dilemmas because the right timing influences the perception of the information (Bourton, 2006). Subsequently, sex education introduced to young students will be ignored since the information isn’t essential to them. In contrast, when sex education is introduced to much older students, the information will be disregarded since some of the students will be sexually active and won’t pay attention to the information provided (Bourton, 2006). The emphasis of sex education on adolescents both in school and in their communities emphasizes the importance of sex education among teenagers and may influence their perception of said information.

The second aspect interfering with sex education is the political background of the society. Members of communities tend to politicize issues that they disagree with, such as sex education in schools. Accordingly, propaganda arises in societies and influences sex education delivery. The most common propaganda is the idea that sex education in schools influences early sexual experiences among adolescents. Sex education occurs in various aspects of adolescents’ lives; knowledge can be acquired from parents, peers, or the Internet. Therefore, the conclusion that early intercourse is a result of sex education in schools is misguided information because the evidence supporting this claim is absent (Wellings et al., 1995). This fact makes political backgrounds and propaganda evident in interfering with sex education delivery in schools. Political debates on the morality of sexual experience before marriage also interfere with the delivery and perception of sex education (Hall et al., 2016). Sex education does not advocate for sexual practices among adolescents, but it promotes education on “safe sex.” Accordingly, a couple of remedies are set up to ensure sex education doesn’t promote sexual promiscuity, such as sex education based on abstinence-only for young students and sex education based on abstinence and more information for adolescents in high schools (Fentahun et al., 2012). Therefore, the misleading information will negatively influence society and the students learning about sex education, limiting the efficiency of sex education. Accordingly, political backgrounds spread propaganda that will influence the perception of sex education among teenagers. Subsequently, propaganda can be cleared up through research and the spread of knowledge on sex education in schools and societies.

The third aspect interfering with sex education is systems barriers available to teenagers. Adolescents are exposed to various environments at school, at home, and in society; these environments may possess various barriers that interfere with sex education perception. The first system barrier includes peers who may participate in the sharing of misunderstood sex education. The spread of misleading information among peers will lead adolescents to disregard the information shared with them during sex education (Yu, 2010). The information they disregard will be vital in preventing teenage pregnancies, while the peer sex education they believe in leads to teenage pregnancies. Students are more comfortable talking about sex education with their peers as compared to their teachers; this fact influences their perception. Accordingly, the training of young peers or nurses to relay sex education instead of a teacher will influence students’ reception of the information because they will feel more comfortable around the nurse or the trained peer than around their teachers (Bourton, 2006). Another barrier is biological variables such as age, hormone levels, and the development of puberty (Yu, 2010). Subsequently, age is essential in sex education because it influences information reception and perception, as discussed above. Biological variables such as hormone levels and puberty development cannot be remedied among adolescents (Yu, 2010). Typically, puberty and hormone levels influence teenage sexual behavior negatively, leading to teenage pregnancies. Accordingly, since biological variables cannot be controlled, the right timing for the introduction of sex education is important in reducing teenage sexual behavior by providing knowledge and spreading education. Religion and religious participation by teenagers impact sex education perception positively due to the principles passed down in the religious environment. The greatest barrier to sex education is media and the Internet because adolescents turn to the media and Internet to obtain more information that they lack in schools (Yu, 2010). They may access misleading information that leads to teenage pregnancy; however, media and the Internet may boost sex education through the provision of more information on topics such as abortion, which may not be covered in schools. Therefore, system barriers provide both positive and negative impacts on sex education.

The social aspects that impact sex education delivery, reception, and perception are discussed as listed above. However, these aspects do not only limit sex education negatively but positively as well. The socio-cultural aspects may have cultural limitations to sex education, but the emphasis on sex education in school and at home makes it clear to adolescents that the information being passed to them is significant. Therefore, in countries where rites of passage still occur, sex education can be introduced to the students around the time for the rites of passage to prevent any socio-cultural disputes. Also, in countries without rite of passage practices, sex education can be introduced in two stages; the first is based on abstinence-only, and the second is based on abstinence plus more information. These two remedies solve the challenge of the timing of the introduction of sex education. Political backgrounds of societies lead to the creation of fallacies and propaganda that will interfere with the delivery and reception of sex education, as discussed above. However, propaganda and fallacies can be exposed for the fake news quality they possess, thorough research can be conducted, and the truth about sex education can be spread among students, teachers, parents, and society. Also, system barriers found in society impact not only sex education negatively but positively as well. A good example is the media and the Internet. Media platforms and the Internet possess a lot of information that provides clarity to the students on some topics either covered in sex education or not covered. This clarity is significant for teenagers who will learn more about sex education. However, just as it provides clarity, it provides overwhelming information that the students cannot handle; sex education, as introduced in the curriculum, handles given topics in a controlled manner. The provision of excess information may mislead teenagers as they seek to gain clarity on given topics.

Consistently, sex education is a practice that should continue in schools all over the world. Countries without sex education in schools should implement it in order to reduce teenage pregnancies. Therefore, even with the social aspects that hinder sex education implementation, knowledge of the importance of sex education is emphasized over and over again. Subsequently, sex education is important in schools to spread knowledge among teenagers and leads to the control of teenagers’ sexual behavior because of their hormones and the development of puberty. Since sex education creates limits for adolescent sexual behavior, it contributes to the decrease in teenage pregnancies.

In conclusion, sex education is largely impacted by social practices. These social practices influence the relaying of sex education by teachers whose socio-cultural practices, political backgrounds, or barriers in the system may influence them. They also influence the reception and perception of the information taught to the students based on the age of the student, the person teaching the sex education class, and other social aspects. Therefore, it is evident that sex education affects not only the students but their parents and society at large. Accordingly, almost every challenge to sex education can be remedied except biological barriers, and every challenge contributes to the spread of knowledge in society. Therefore, sex education is a practice that should continue being practiced to empower people, especially adolescents. Thus, the significance of sex education is felt at the societal level, countrywide, and worldwide.


Bourton, V. (2006). Sex education in school: young people’s views. Paediatric Nursing, 18(8), 20-22. doi: 10.7748/paed.18.8.20.s20

Fentahun, N., Assefa, T., Alemseged, F., & Ambaw, F. (2012). Parents’ Perception, Students’ and Teachers’ Attitude towards School Sex Education. Retrieved 10 May 2021, from

Hall, K., McDermott Sales, J., Komro, K., & Santelli, J. (2016). The State of Sex Education in the United States. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 58(6), 595-597. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.03.032

Wellings, K., Wadsworth, J., Johnson, A., Field, J., Whitaker, L., & Field, B. (1995). Provision of sex education and early sexual experience: the relation examined. BMJ, 311(7002), 417-420. Doi: 10.1136/bmj.311.7002.417

Yu, J. (2010). Sex education beyond school: implications for practice and research. Sex Education, 10(2), 187-199. doi: 10.1080/14681811003666515


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The goal of this paper is to construct a fair-minded, unbiased, analytical analysis of a topic in a comprehensive essay.

Sex Education In School

Sex Education In School

  • This is not an opinion piece or a persuasive essay that simply aims to prove or reinforce what you already believe. This would be confirmation bias, and bias must be avoided in this project.
  • This project needs to avoid harsh rhetoric or language that is harmful and hurtful in nature. The point is to be objective and unemotional in your approach.
  • This essay should be written in a fair, academic, respectful, and analytical manner regardless of any of your opinions, feelings, or preconceived notions about the topic.
  • Both sides of your topic must be treated with equal attention, both in terms of the number and quality of sources and in the depth and breadth of their presentation in your essay. Both sides should be addressed in the same number of paragraphs in roughly equivalent detail, and should be supported by the same number of quality sources.
  • You must identify and define rhetorical devices and logical fallacies on both sides of the argument. Be sure you indicate which specific rhetorical device and fallacy you have found, and there is evidence in your sources of these course concepts in practice that is cited in your paper.
  • You will present statements and claims for analyzing both sides of the topic. Only then should you state you own conclusion as an objective, critical thinker given the information presented.

Topic Selection: Students should select a topic they are very interested in that has academically legitimate research that supports a two-sided argument. Suggested topics include:

  • Gender neutral bathrooms
  • Police brutality/excessive force
  • Sex education in school
  • Immigration reform
  • Taxpayer-funded health care
  • Refugees seeking asylum
  • Physician‐assisted suicide
  • Gun laws
  • Marijuana legalization (specify medical vs. recreational use)
  • Spanking to discipline children
  • Organic vs. non-organic foods
  • E‐cigarettes vs. tobacco cigarettes
  • Human-caused climate change (check with your professor on specifics)
  • Effects of social

Essay Format: Your essay must be 5–7 pages (1600–1900 words) in length. The abstract, title page, and reference list do not count in the page or word count. The essay must have the following elements:

  • Times New Roman
  • 12-point
  • Double-spaced
  • 1-inch margins
  • Proper Level I and Level II APA section headings for all major sections of the essay
  • All other applicable APA formatting

Required Elements:

  • A properly formatted APA title page
  • A properly formatted APA abstract
  • Body of the paper
    • Introduction: Identify the issue. Provide the necessary background and/or important recent developments. Define key terms and concepts. Engage the reader and explain the broader significance of the issue.
    • Arguments and Counterarguments: Summarize the best arguments on both sides of the issue. Include relevant research from credible sources used to support each conclusion. Devote at least one paragraph to each side.
    • Evaluation of Critical Thinking: Assess the strength of the arguments and the quality of thinking surrounding this issue.
      • Identify weaknesses in critical thinking such as fallacies, rhetorical devices, vague language, and cognitive biases. Provide specific examples of how these weaknesses appear in arguments you encountered, using terminology and definitions from the course. Be specific! Present evidence from your sources that show these fallacies/biases being used.
      • Evaluate the quality of scientific and anecdotal evidence using the standards of inductive and deductive reasoning described in the course. Consider the quality of causal relationship, analogies, generalizations, and/or moral reasoning.
    • Conclusion: Analyze the totality of research and offer a critical thinker’s response to the issue. Identify your own position and experience with the issue and explain how your thinking of the subject has evolved as a result of your analysis. Your conclusion does not have to be absolute, but it should not be equivocal. If both sides have good arguments, which is better, even if only slightly better, and what is the argument that tips the scales in the sides’ favor? Why does that point tip the scales?
  • A properly formatted APA reference list
    • Sources should appear in alphabetical order according to the last name of the first author listed on the source.
    • If there is no author(s), then the source should be cited by title or organization.

Sources and Research Sources: You must use five scholarly or academic sources and all research should be published within the last five years. Sources not scholarly or academic in nature may affect your grade. It is highly recommended that most of your research be conducted via the WCU Library.

Eligible sources listed best-to-worst: 

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles
    • Peer review is the process that allows scientists to trust the reliability of published journal articles. The only way to tell if a journal article has been peer reviewed is to look for information about the journal, normally on the publisher’s website. Most databases do not indicate if an article is peer reviewed or not.
    • The WCU library contains many of peer-reviewed sources. This is going to be the most desired type of evidence to use for any paper at WCU.
  • Scholarly research articles
    • Research articles (original research articles, primary research articles, or case studies) are your standard scientific articles. Most often published in peer-reviewed journals, primary research articles report on the findings of a scientist’s work.
    • They almost always include a description of how the research was conducted and what the results mean. This is also a highly desirable type of research to use for your papers.
  • Government and state reports
    • Many government agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may have studies and statistics that may be useful for your topic. However, these sources are usually informational reports in nature, and therefore they rarely dig into the critical arguments used by the sides of a topic.
    • Though usually credible and reliable source, government reports should generally be used as supplemental, secondary sources to support or rebut academic sources. They should not be the main sources of your argument.
  • Other articles or sources
    • When this general term is used for an assignment, get clarification from your instructor about the source requirements. These are articles or sources that have been well researched and include a lot of citations. When you assess these resources, make sure that they are appropriate to use as evidence because they may contain bias. You should look at the sources these articles are using, determine if they are legitimate, reputable, and credible, and then make a judgment call.
    • These types of articles are the least desirable type of articles from the list of acceptable types to use (depending on each course’s expectations).
      • Review articles
      • Editorials, opinion, commentary, and perspectives
      • Trade publication articles
      • Technical reports
      • Documentaries
      • Interviews or TED talks

Sources that may not be used on this essay include the following:

  • Wikipedia and information from freelance websites (check with your professor before using these sources)
  • Information from general or reference sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, general information websites, or other reference works online or in print. Check with your teacher regarding textbooks from other courses or other sources if you are not sure.
  • Articles from publications or magazines that lack research to back up their claims
  • Religious texts of any kind
  • Obviously or highly biased sources that contain no credible or reputable support

Avoiding plagiarism: Remember that avoiding plagiarism is priority number one for credible academic writers.

    • It is always better to cite and attribute to a source than not to cite. If you are ever unsure, cite and attribute.
    • Anything that you copy word-for-word from a source mustbe quoted, attributed to its original source, and parenthetically cited in APA Style.
    • Anything that you take from a source and put into your own words mustbe both attributed to its original source and parenthetically cited in APA Style.


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