Ignorance of sex education has left our world suffering from a variety of venereal diseases, abortion, neglected children, and sadly enough, even death. This is a very serious problem not only for our children today but also for children of the future generations. Sources of education are available almost everywhere, but there are not useful if they go unnoticed. Sex education should begin at home with the parents, but if the parents are uncomfortable speaking about the subject or not unwilling to take control of this sensitive subject, there needs to be an outside source to help fill this void: the school. Children need to know the basics, such as what diseases are threats, which ones are curable and which are not, just how real these diseases are, pregnancy, and responsibility. Therefore, sex education should be a part of the curriculum for children in the junior high

Many children in junior high know there are sexually transmitted diseases, but many do not realize just how threatening these diseases are. Living in a small community, many youth believe that getting a sexually transmitted disease will never happen to them. But our children need to know that there are diseases in our country like Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, Hepatitis, and even AIDS. Since 1986, Syphilis cases have increased by 100 percent (Haas and Haas 441). These kinds of facts need to be brought to students' attention. However, just because we inform our children of these diseases does not mean that they will not catch them, but they still need to be informed of the number of diseases that are incurable and can lead to death.

Diseases, though, are not all our youths have to worry about. Pregnancy is another major concern. "The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and births in the Western civilized world" (Shake Heights). Our teens need to know that infants born to teen mothers are much more likely to have health problems (Shake Heights). By informing them of birth control, we are not necessarily saying it is ok to go and have sex, but if they choose to, they will at least be knowledgeable. If we choose not to inform them, it then becomes at least partly our responsibility that they became pregnant.

In addition to informing children of diseases and pregnancy, we can teach them responsibility, and avoid having to deal with a decision on abortion. In Arizona alone last year, there were 11,738 reported cases of abortion (AZ Abortion). Today the simplest abortion procedure that can be performed generally costs around 300 dollars (Glazer). Also, 83% of our counties here in the United States do not even provide facilities where abortions may be performed (Glazer). The decision to abort a pregnancy can scar a teenage mother's life no matter what decision she make. To keep the child means hardship, but not to keep the child can also be mentally frightening.

Teaching our children about sexuality and making them more knowledgeable about it does not convey the message that sex is ok. How much can we really control our children when we cannot be with them every minute of the day? Some parents are scared to talk to their children, so the help at school could benefit the child and parents, and possibly stop a major hardship from occurring in the child's life. These topics can be taught in a sensitive manner, but it seems clear that if our children know more about diseases, birth control, and the responsibilities of sex, they will at least be a little wiser when making their decision.

Works Cited

Glazer, Sarah. "Sex Education: How Well Does It Work?" Editorial Research Reports. 23 June 1989.

Haas, Dr. Kurt, and Dr. Adelaide Haas. Understanding Sexuality. 3rd ed. New York: Mosby, 1993.

Planned Parenthood. AZ Fact Sheet. 3 Feb. 1999. 12 Feb.1999.

Shaker Heights Teen Health Corps. Teen Pregnancy. 3 Jan. 1999. 12 Feb. 1999