Sex education in schools should emphasize abstinence.

Please discuss on of the two topics:

1.    Sex education in schools should emphasize abstinence.
2.    Sex education in schools should NOT emphasize abstinence.

Please note that this topic is not about morality or religion. Issues of morality are complex, varied, and deeply personal. While I recognize that for most, it is difficult for them to set aside their preconceived notions (regardless of what side of the fence you may stand on), if we are to be critical thinkers, we must be able to process complex issues logically and rationally.

This issues is compounded by the fact that it is also deeply ingrained in a cultural context. For  instance:

1. It was not unusual in the 1800’s for women to be married off  to men in their late 20’s or early 30’s when they 15. This would  currently be not only illegal, but socially and culturally unacceptable  within the United States today.

2. Sexual education is also something that is relatively new as most children 100 years ago knew more about reproduction merely by living in an agrarian society than many know about it today.

3. Since the 1960’s, there has been a shift in the cultural understanding of sexuality from reproduction and the religious connotations of consummation to one of personal enjoyment and fulfillment.

All of these factors, and more, confound this topic. This does not mean that you will necessarily change your decision (nor that you should), but you will at least understand the full implications of your perceptive. As issues become more complex, the need for us to have a greater understanding of the issues impacting our decisions increase.

For instance:

If you believe that it is wrong to punish people before they have committed an act (no matter how heinous), but you had the capacity to go back in time to kill Hitler before he committed all of his atrocities, what would you do? On the one hand, to enact a punishment, especially one as severe as killing an individual even before they have committed any atrocity is barbaric in and of itself and removes the element of choice and consequence from decisions. However, not doing so would result in the death of millions, which is also barbaric.

As such, the point of this exercise is for you to process the complexity of an issue that is political, social, and religious at its nature, not to persuade you one way or the other. Rather, I am asking you to think about the full scope of ideas and consequences such as STDs, teen pregnancy, date rape, self-esteem, sexual identity, the ability to cognitively recognize consequences due to developmental time frames, etc.

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