argument top image

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

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 be taught in schools Show more Show less

School is where children hone their decision-making abilities and gain the skills to interpret the world around them. Sex should be a part of that education.
< (2 of 2)

Sex education reduces pregnancies and STDs

In countries where comprehensive sex education (not just abstinance-only programs) are on the curriculum, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease rates fall.


Teaching sex education in schools has a tangible impact on teenage pregnancy rates and sexual health.

The Argument

A look at the teenage pregnancy rates among developed nations reveals that the US, which has no standardised sex education instruction has the highest number of teenage pregnancies. Countries like France, where sex education has been on the national curriculum since 1973, has a teenage pregnancy rate of around a third that of the United States’. In Holland, where children are learning about the biology of sex in school at four-years-old[1], the teenage pregnancy rate is around seven times lower.[2] This is a clear indication that sex education in schools reduces teenage pregnancy. It also helps lower the rate of sexually transmitted infections. In France, just 1% of adolescent females are likely to contract chlamydia, in the US this figure is at 5%.[3] If the objective of sexual education classes is to keep children safe by avoiding unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, then they clearly work.

Counter arguments

The purpose of sex education classes is not just to keep teenagers safe and reduce unwanted pregnancies. It is to produce well-adjusted teenagers with a strong set of morals and a healthy relationship with sex. Exposing children and teenagers to sexual themes as early as four can warp and distort their attitude to sex and make them more promiscuous. They may be safe and free from sexually transmitted diseases, but they could become sexual deviants and have an unhealthy relationship with sex. The same applies to teenagers. The more normalised sex becomes, the more likely they are to have sex and become more promiscuous. Teaching children about sex in school normalises sexual behaviour and does not create a well-rounded individual who approaches sex with a moral outlook. There is also evidence that comprehensive sex education programs do not have a significant impact on reducing unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. One study found that 74% of comprehensive school sex education programs had no impact on teenage pregnancy and STD rates.[4]



[P1] The purpose of sex education is to prevent teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. [P2] Countries that teach sex education in schools have lower rates of teenage pregnancies and STDs. [P3] Therefore, sex education in schools is more effective. [P4] Therefore, sex education should be taught in schools.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] This is not the only purpose of sex education.




Not sure yet? Read more ↑


This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 09:29 UTC

Explore related arguments