During the past decade, there have been stark generational differences in terms of moral and social norms. In order to accommodate for these changes, society has had to make difficult decisions regarding the protection of todays youth. One of the biggest controversies that have been ongoing deals with the gray area regarding the roles of educators and parents. School systems today are distributing condoms and contraceptives to students as young as 11 years old with the intention of preventing their students from suffering from the negative side effects of sex.
From an ducator’s perspective, the distribution of condoms has become a necessity due to the overwhelming lack of morals instilled in the youth at the fault of their parents. They also argue that it encourages safety and that it is completely foolish to assume that abstinence is always practiced. On the contrary, conservatives will argue that condoms promote sex and their distribution will show minors that sex at a young age is socially acceptable. Conservatives’ opinions are naive because they blatantly condone the fact that standards and practices have changed dramatically over time.
The rising issue of under aged sex has made the distribution of condoms a necessity in order to combat the negative ramifications of the decisions made by todays uneducated youth. A misconception that is widely believed is that passing out condoms in schools will influence or pressure teens to have sex. According to Dr. Kevin J. Minch, if young people believe they will be “safe” when using a condom they are much less likely to be deterred from engaging in dangerous and immoral behavior (Minch).
The conservatives believe that with the introduction of condoms at an early age, this would lead to the unnecessary exposure of the youth to a concept hat should only be tackled by legal adults. It allows them to stray into the obscure world they are not yet ready for. Widespread condom distribution will establish sexual activity as the norm among young teens, creating peer pressure to participate in sex. The added temptation to engage in sexual activity is “protected” will result in more women having sex at a younger age, perhaps furthering their exploitation. Minch) Sex is a topic that should be addressed at the discretion of each parent and the fact is that educators are slowly taking over the responsibilities of the parent. The opposition would argue that parents of every ethnicity and background have spent years of their life attempting to instill solid morals and values to their children. It is understandable how a parent would feel for a high school teacher to pass out condoms to students at such a young age. Education systems are making the decision on what they think is best for the child rather than having the parents deciding the verdict on this issue.
It is said that teenagers who have a good relationship with their parents are less likely to experience a pregnancy and the harsh consequences from unprotected sex. Good communication between parents nd children helps ensure that children make the right decisions when it comes to their sexual activity. However, as seen by the statistics, the amount of parental involvement in the lives of teens today is limited. Educators are simply picking up the slack since some parents do not educate their children on the simple right and wrongs like previous generations were taught.
In addition to educators programs that educate our youth and that taxpayers should not fund these programs. “Is it really the responsibility of hardworking taxpayers to pay for the use of protection for irresponsible teens? I certainly do not think so” (Cook). Educators do not need to sanction the idea of a sexually active lifestyle; however they should hearten all young teenagers to make Judicious decisions when it comes to being sexually active. In this case, schools provide their sex-education classes and many prefer it stayed Just that, that it is not fit to provide a basket of condoms upon the exiting of a classroom.
What the conservatives fail to do is look at the logical perspective and to take into account the statistics and reality of todays youth. What needs to be widely noticed is that the United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births. It is fact that that the teen pregnancies in our nation cost the United States at least 7 billion dollars each year. For the fiscal year of 2006 the federal government spent over 38 billion dollars to support families that began with a birth from a teenage mother.
Nearly eight billion dollars is spent each year to diagnose and treat sexually transmitted diseases. Either the money paid towards taxes can contribute to pregnancies and their after effects, or the money can be well Prevention is much more important when all the facts are spent on prevention. displayed. Every year, around 750,000 teenagers will get pregnant. As a result, more than two thirds of teenagers who give birth will drop out of school, thus leading to an uneducated and difficult future.
Teenage mothers and their children are more likely than others to be placed in the poverty bracket; therefore billions of dollars are spent taking care of them. Teen pregnancies are seen as a disadvantage in todays society due to the fact that many children born to teenage mothers tend to have a low birth rate. In addition to this, children born to teenage mothers are said to do poorly in school as they age and are more suceptible to abuse and neglect. The ruth is that the Centers of Disease Control reports nineteen million new STDs each year and approximately half of these reports are from our youth.
One in four sexually active teenagers become infected with a sexually transmitted disease every year, which includes but is not limited to Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Genital Warts, and Herpes. (The Alan Guttmacher Institute). Another mind wrenching fact coming from the American Social Health Association is that of nine million new STD cases in the year 2000, ninety percent was accounted for by HIV and HPV (Human Papillomavirus) in ages fifteen to twenty-four years of age. Chesson HW, Blandford JM, Gift TL, Tao G, Irwin KL. According to an educator working out of a New York City public high school, the idea of distributing condoms has her approval. “If I could, I would give out condoms in my classroom. I think we should make it as easy as possible for teens to access condoms. ” This statement could cause an upheaval of opinion, but this teacher is looking out for the welfare of her students. High school students’ main focus should be education, goal setting, and discovering their own individuality. These teenagers should live an energetic and active life without worrying about remarital sex.
Even though this is true, it has been proven that over 50% of teenagers have had sexual intercourse before graduating High School. So what is to come of this? Considering a high percentage of high school students are in fact having sex, there are outstanding statistics proving many STDs and teenage with the prevention classes and protection. When students are provided with condoms, it at least gives them the opportunity to be responsible with such an irresponsible act. Condoms are proven not to be 100% effective protecting against pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
However they have and will cut the odds by a landslide. Their distribution could have a significant impact on many lives by protecting them from diseases and unforeseen pregnancies that can end a young mother’s future. The best defense against STD’s and under aged pregnancies is simply knowledge and protection. Frequently, parents are too embarrassed to approach their child about any type of sexual activity. For this reason students are left uniformed and in harms way. A catastrophe will take place if sex education and protection are taken away from the students today.
Parents need to be active and not permit sexual activity and disregard its existence. Often our society does not recognize these situations. Regardless of the parents’ opinions of moral and religious rights, someone has to protect the youth considering abstinence is not a sure avenue for these children. This is why our education systems have, and need to continue doing so, taken a step forth to protect our nation’s future.