Over the four years that most teenagers are in high school, we are pressured to make sky-high achievements. There are different standards for what we are expected to know and different benchmarks by which the state can judge our knowledge of a topic.
Sexual education in schools is an example of a curriculum that has personal repercussions with students. It is important that this curriculum is effective to students rather than just dull noise. This is why UAHS’ sexual education curriculum begs examination in the context of modern society. Writers Jenny Jiao and Sari Royer delve into and analyze the high school’s sexual education curriculum in their story “Let’s Talk About Sex” on pages 10-13. Jiao and Royer discuss how sexual education must be expanded to help all audiences, not just those who believe in abstinence until marriage.
The primary message of the curriculum that is mentioned is abstinence. At one point in almost every person’s life, he/she must choose whether he/she wishes to remain abstinent or be sexually active. In middle school, the majority opinion was to wait to have sex for many years. However, as the years continued, more kids decided this wasn’t what they believed. As we have matured, some of our values have changed. According to the spotlight, 47 percent of teenagers choose not to abstain in high school. Some still believe in waiting; others do not. It is, however, important for the community to recognize that a significant segment of the student body is going to be sexually active no matter what; therefore, abstinence-only sexual education is unrealistic, outdated and dangerous for those teens who need to be taught how to stay safe.
Ultimately, what we must learn is that all values and ideals differ from person-to-person. No matter what we believe, we must be able to respect others’ choices and provide relevant updated information to prepare them for their lives.
Jane Eskildsen and Ella Koscher