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< Back to question Should sex education be taught in schools? Show more Show less

With the increasing ubiquity of sexual images, teenagers receive a constant stream of sexual imagery and information. But whose responsibility is it to equip children and teens with the necessary knowledge to form attitudes about sex, relationships and intimacy? Is it the parents'? Or should educators provide teens with comprehensive sex education classes in schools?

Sex education should not be taught in schools Show more Show less

Teaching sex education in schools robs parents of the decision of when, and how much, to tell their child about sex.
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Sex education makes teenagers more promiscuous

A comprehensive sex education program will make teenagers more promiscuous.
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Sex education normalises sex among young adults and sparks their curiosity. In doing so, it cultivates an unhealthy relationship with sex and can lead to promiscuity.

The Argument

Informing teenagers about condoms and the ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, could embolden them and make them more promiscuous. If we knew we could take a pill and never have a hangover, wouldn’t people drink more alcohol? The same can be applied to sex. Widespread knowledge of condoms will encourage teenagers to become more promiscuous.[1] By talking about sex in schools, we are also promoting it as a part and parcel of teenage life. In doing so, we embolden those that want to have sex and make those that don’t feel abnormal. This fuels promiscuity and a casual attitude towards sexual relations, leading teens to take more sexual partners.[2]

Counter arguments

Every study carried out on the topic has indicated that this is untrue. Schools which teach contraceptive methods, and even provide students with free condoms, do not see their students having sex from an earlier age. Nor do they have sex more often. This is a myth with no empirical evidence to support the claim. [1] On the other hand, there are many studies that show the benefits of teaching children about contraceptives in schools. In 2007, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that teens that use condoms the first time they have intercourse are half as likely to contract chlamydia and gonorrhoea over the course of the following seven years. This shows that those that start off using contraceptives, stay safer for longer than those that don’t. [3] The argument that sex education normalises sex and therefore shouldn't be taught in schools is also flawed. Sex is already normalised at a young age. Teens are exposed to it every day on TV, in video games, on social media and in their friendship circles. Teaching it in school isn’t going to have any impact on promiscuity, it is simply going to ensure that when teenagers start having sex, they know how to protect themselves.


[P1] If there was a pill to prevent a hangover, people would drink more. [P2] Therefore, teaching teens about contraceptives will mean they have more sex.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] There are studies that show teaching students about contraception has no impact on the rate or age at which they have sex.




This page was last edited on Monday, 20 Jan 2020 at 09:44 UTC


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