Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 12:18:36 AM
Just two years ago, as a puny and insignificant freshman, I took the standard and mandatory health education class that is offered at my high school just like every other student who is shuffled through primary schooling. However, this was not your run-of-the-mill, boring class about sexual and drug educations; it taught me valuable life lessons and gave me experiences that I am confident I will hold on to for the rest of my young life. I still remember, quite vividly, exercises we did in that class and videos we watched, and most importantly, the feeling I got from them. That is why I believe improved sexual education in schools has contributed heavily to the decline of teenage pregnancy. Along with the array of disturbing videos we were shown in this class regarding the nauseating repercussions of substance abuse, we were also subjected to educational videos about reproduction and our sex lives that left a lasting impact upon us as viewers. Witnessing the effects of teenage pregnancy to capable, bright young teens such as ourselves left a scar on us as a reminder to engage in safe sex. From my experience in this class, I did not so much take away the idea of abstinence as I took away the idea of contraceptives and safe sexual habits, which I appreciated as I do not necessarily agree with complete abstinence until marriage, though I am a firm believer in a healthy lifestyle. This class also skillfully highlighted the gruesome aftermath of unsafe sex apart from the risk of pregnancy, such as the potential for the spreading of life-damaging STDs, which most likely contributed to the use of contraceptives in teenage sexual habits, thus decreasing the teenage pregnancy rate. My overall experience with the health education in high school has shown me the importance of practicing safety in my life and in the bedroom and has significantly decreased my risk of getting pregnant without my preparedness, and my guess is that there are plenty of other teens out there who have come away with similar feelings after undergoing the education available for them. I fear for the girls, and boys alike, who are not fortunate enough to be graced with this education, for those are really the kids at the mercy of problems like teenage pregnancy simply out of their ignorance. Education has the power to completely restructure someone’s mindset and set people on a path to success and a healthy, happy lifestyle. I know that I will not soon forget the detrimental lessons I learned in my health education classroom, which assures me that girls across the nation must come away with similar feelings in regards to their sex lives, thus improved sexual education in schools contributes to the decline in teenage pregnancies.