The Birds and the Bees

The Birds and the Bees

Ingrid Pureco

When some particular topics come up, teachers often shy away from the conversation, dangerously leaving students to teach each other. This is especially true when it comes to anything dealing with sex. Since it is so pushed away and hidden from the conversation platform, many female students have ended up pregnant. This neglected conversation is long overdue.

In 2015, the CDC surveyed students about their sexual behaviors and patterns. This survey came up with some astounding statistics. Though, generally speaking, most of the following percentages are lower than before, the percentages are still very high. Of the surveyed students, 41% said they have had sex at least once, 30% of which had had sexual intercourse during the previous three months. Of those students, 43% of those students did not use a condom and 14% did not use any method to prevent pregnancy.

These facts are terrifying, but it only gets worse. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, teens ages 15-24 make up nearly half of the 20 million new cases of STDs each year. This makes it so that two in five sexually active female adolescents have a STD that can affect fertility and can even lead to death. Since STD’s often have no symptoms, people often neglect to recognize they have one, meaning that the spread of the STD persists. It is important for sexually active students to get checked regularly and use protection during intercourse. Even so, students often avoid getting tested because of the stigma attached to sex and adolescents.

Teens go into something they don’t understand and they do not anticipate the consequences of the future. Beyond their own choice to have sex without protection, teens can find themselves in a situation that is most feared; sexual assault. This topic is never talked about enough because of its nature, particularly in school. Even if it is for more mature audiences, students must realize that it can happen to anyone and it is important to know in order to take the right precautions. Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the U.S have been a victim of sexual assault. Teenagers 16 to 19 years of age are 3.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault than the general population, all according to the U.S Department of Justice. The larger percentage of these assaults are not reported, and often times, the victim is “slut-shamed”. Consent is important in every step of the process, yet is the number one neglected subtopic about sex.

Whether the subtopic is STD’s or pregnancy or sexual assault, the general topic of sex should never be ignored or put aside for students to learn for themselves. Teenagers will be teenagers and should be taught right from wrong while still giving them the chance to make their own decisions. With that said, sexual activity carries a lot of responsibility and caution that some teens are simply not ready for.