To significantly lower the number of teen pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S., focused sex education needs to start as early as fifth grade, according to research out of Georgetown University.
Of the 19,738,800 new STD cases each year, the CDC reported, “young people ages 15-24 account for more than 50 percent of them and, yet, are only 25 percent of the sexually experienced population.”
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most American teens don’t receive formal sexual health instruction, if they receive it at all, until after they’ve already become sexually active.
One of the key arguments against sex education in schools is that “it’s inappropriate and will spur them to become sexually active at an earlier age,” Tara Culp-Ressler wrote for Think Progress. “According to public health experts, there’s a wide range of evidence that kids who received a comprehensive sex education in school are more likely to delay sex.”
A study from Guttmacher Institute found that teen pregnancy and abortion is at a 40-year low, which researchers believe is linked to better sex education.
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