Why the Sex Education Curriculum Needs to Change

The sex education curriculum is flawed in a plethora of ways. For one, sex education laws vary from state to state.  Some states teach abstinence-only programs, while others teach comprehensive sex programs.  The main difference between these two programs is abstinence-only programs teach students to not have sex outside of marriage while comprehensive sex programs give students information on how to make healthy and safe sexual choices.  Although private schools are not required to provide a sex education program because they are not owned by the state, therefore they do not have to abide by the state’s laws.

Only twenty-four states legally require public schools to teach sex education.  That means less than half of the United States requires a sex education program!  I believe sex education (specifically comprehensive sex education) should be a nation-wide requirement for all public schools because there needs to be a safe space for students to discuss their concerns regarding sex or their sexuality.  This way students can be more comfortable talking about the subject of sex and how a healthy and safe sexual relationship should look.

Another flaw in sex education is the amount of sexism there is.  When I was in school going through our sex education program, they often spoke of how sexual pleasure works for men, but not for women.  Women’s sexual experiences were portrayed as just being purposeful for pregnancy and producing children, not for being used for their pleasure or benefit.  The way these sex education programs function reinforces sexist ideas in society by normalizing masturbation for men but not for women.

The sex education classes also tend to portray mainly white, able-bodied, thin men and women.  In doing this, sex education sets certain “standards of beauty” for society. This may make students feel left out or insecure if they look any different than the diagrams or people in the videos teachers show.

There needs to be a major shift toward requiring all public schools across the country to provide comprehensive sex education.  This way students can make healthy, informed, and safe decisions regarding their sexual lives. A lot of students feel awkward talking about sex education, and this is why there needs to be reform in the education system so students can discuss their needs and ask any questions to make their sex life and experiences overall better.