Is talking about sex funny? Are you getting timid if your peers are starting to chat about sex with you? Do you think you know much about sex? If not, I can assure you your life is in potential danger as every year US female teenagers experience as many as 850,000 pregnancies (NMTPC, 2010). The following number is not less staggering as young people under 25 are prone to about 9.1 million sexually transmitted infections, Klein JD & Committee on Adolescence reports. So, are you now so sure the problem of safe sex does not concern you?
Taking this sob statistics into account, I would like to tell young teens more about
sex. Can the current figures and numbers on sex problems really give a lesson to our teens? Lecturing on such an intimate issue assumes educator’s comprehension of the way teens portray sex.
First, we will expore whether teens need to know more about sex. Second, we will discuss the ways popular media portrays sexual content. Third, we will analyze the ways of sexual education improvement (Dailard, 2001).
All in all, teens are negatively impacted by the lack of sexual education. As a result, they take part in risky sexual experiences resulting in unintended and dangerous health outcomes. Playing with fire in such a way means millions of teenagers are sooner or later getting burned. Would you like to be one of them?
The problem with sex is not about the fact teens are involved in sexual interactions. It is rather about the way they do it. Let’s get closer to the numbers. Nearly 47.4% of the US high school students had sexual intercourse. 33.7% of sexual intercourses were reported during the previous 3 months, and out of this number 39.8% teens did not care to use a condom the last time they had sex. Astonishingly, 76.7% did not use birth control pills or DepoProvera to prevent pregnancy the last time they had sex, CDC reports (Youth risk behavior surveillance, 2011).
The shown figures suggest that teenagers have little or no sense at all about protecting themselves from sexual hazards. Blatantly disregarding such simple precautions as wearing a
condom or taking a pill means that sexual awareness of today’s teenagers is rather low.
Sex education should be presented in a way to compensate for their insufficient knowledge. Herein popular media and social networks should play a decisive in shifting teen vision of sexual interactions.
In fact, teens are misinformed as popular media and social networks depict sexual content in a fictional and entertaining way. Today’s teenagers are rather vulnerable and prone to negative information and false perceptions about sex (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and Kennedy School of Government (2004).
According to the report written by Mary Madden, Amanda Lenhart, Sandra Cortesi, Urs Gasser, Maeve Duggan, Aaron Smith, and Meredith Beaton, 95 percent of teens (12 – 17) use the internet, and 81 percent of them use social media sites. The new social media channels enable teens to communicate and share information. The role of social networks is that it is easier to talk to the opposite sex when you are not face to face with them. 91% of teens post a photo of themselves, up from 79% in 2006 according to statics written by Mary Madden. Such popular way of virtual interaction enables people to be more confident online and boldly chat with their peers. The media is therefore one of the main ways teenagers come to find about sex. Movies and TV shows show sex in a fictional and non-threatening way, On the other hand, movies induce teenagers to copy what they’re seeing on the screens. As a result, they are getting exposed to sex (NBC News, 2013).
Sex education should start on earlier stages and apply graphic content to get kids to make responsible decisions. We should not just scare kids into being sexually responsible, we should properly teach them.
The current statistics and figures indicate that sex is not only a way of entertainment, but a serious social problem that needs proper consideration. Further lack of sexual education will only widen the gap of sexual problems currently experienced by the teens. After this short speech, I hope you will reconsider your attitude to sex and will treat it in a more secure way. Do not make fun of it with your friends – take it seriously as tomorrow the trouble may knock your door!
- CDC ‘Youth risk behavior surveillance’, 2011. MWR 2012;61(SS4) http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/sexualbehaviors/
- Dailard, C. (2001). “Sex Education: Politicians, Parents, Teachers and Teens”. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy. Guttmacher Institute.
- Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and Kennedy School of Government (2004) Sex Education in America, Washington, DC: National Public Radio, p. 5.
- Madden, M. Lenhart, A. Cortesi, S. Gasser, U. Duggan, M. Smith, A. and Beaton, M. ‘Teens, Social Media, and Privacy’ May, 21, 2013
- NBC News ‘10 surprising sex statistics’ http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37853719/ns/health-sexual_health/t/surprising-sex-statistics/#.UlWeWGTXQ54