"Sexual risk behaviors place adolescents at risk for HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and unintended pregnancy: An estimated 8,300 young people aged 13–24 years in the 40 states reporting to CDC had HIV infection in 2009. Nearly half of the 19 million new STDs each year are among young people aged 15–24 years. Over 400,000 teen girls aged 15–19 years gave birth in 2009"
Teachers Versus Parents
Personally, I think sex education is sort of like a recipe; it takes a little of this, and a little of that, but you still may not get the end results you were hoping for. Parents should ultimately be responsible for teaching the youth they brought into this world about how exactly they got there. Surly most parents know their children better than the teacher does, so they would have a better understanding of where to start, and how far to go with it in one setting.
Sex is an emotional act; people in love do it, as well as people in lust. I firmly believe that the emotional side of sex should be explained by the parents. Because, really, if it weren't for some emotional triggered time, they wouldn't have the child they need to educate. We still need sex education in schools, though, and that is where the teacher comes in. Teachers are good at teaching facts to a class. In a class of say, 20 students, there could be 20 different views on the same subject. However, it is the teachers responsibility to inform the students. Personally, when I was a kid, if my mom would have started talking to me about sexually transmitted diseases, I would have shut down. The conversation would have been over before it started. In a classroom with all your peers, it's easier to not get as embarrassed. If anything, to just sit and be quiet through the class, and just listen. The information is still getting delivered by the teacher, and received by the student, whether the student makes comments or not.
Sex education class was only half a year when I was a kid, and it was taught when I was in eighth grade. I knew what sex was way before that, and so did my peers. With that said, I think sex education should also be taught at a younger age. I may not have known everything there was to know at a young age, but I did have the right idea and concept of what sex was by the time I was in fifth grade. That sounds so young, but I believe this would be a good grade to introduce the idea of sex education. Schools and teachers wouldn't have to go into great depth at this point, but this is around the age that bodies are changing in girls, and boyfriend/girlfriend relationships start. If sex education started around the fifth grade age and was a continued area of study throughout high school, I think it would cut down on teenage pregnancies, and increase safe sex in teens.
Doing a sex education class would also keep the information fresh in the minds of youth, while also teaching them up-to-date information. The medical world is one of constant change and growth. Everyday there are more cures for diseases, and also more infections and diseases popping up, kids need to be aware of these before deciding to become sexually active. The statistics for teenagers being infected with HIV, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases, might go down if there were more than just half a year of education on the matter of sex education.
All in all, I think teachers and parents need to work together. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but it's true. Sex education was fairly up-to-date and proficient when I took it in school. I believe it just takes teaching it at home and in school for it to make a real effect on kids.