Sexual Education at Victor

Sexual Education at Victor

From Romeo and Juliet to Euphoria, shows have captured the struggles of teen sex and needs. Part of becoming a teenager and blossoming into a young adult is learning how to become responsible and practice safe sex. Yet, certain parents and schools have trouble providing the adolescent with knowledge on how to be independent, self-sufficient, and how to make smart choices, without simply preaching abstinence.


An adult that students look up to, whether it is a trusted guardian or a teacher at school provides a safe space for students to ask sexual questions to, yet the stigma behind it being inappropriate or immature is what makes it so hard for students to be open about it. Since most schools preach abstinence, students  feel as if they will be judged or told on, to parents. 


According to a study on Yahoo Life, roughly 60% of students who have graduated high school  have  lost their virginity. Well, does preaching abstinence help lower those numbers?


An article published by Columbia Public Health, refutes that common myth. “While abstinence is theoretically effective, in actual practice, intentions to abstain from sexual activity often fail. These programs simply do not prepare young people to avoid unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases.”


While researching other sexual education errors around the US, I was curious as to what students at Victor think would be beneficial to their school.Melania and I had taken the opportunity to ask upperclass students around Victor to see what they think.


They were asked if they were taught even as little as a unit on sexual education. Many juniors and seniors answered “ Not really” or even “No, I didn’t have a unit on sexual education.”


For those who answered yes, they were asked how long the unit was and if they were taught abstinence during the so-called unit many students responded that the unit was only about a week long, and how they were definitely taught the act of refraining from any sexual activity, rather than being taught how to be sexually safe,  or the use of birth control, prevention of STDs, deal with unwanted pregnancies, and sexual identity. 


Students don’t feel prepared for certain life scenarios due to not being properly educated on Sexual Education.


It is true that part of a parent’s responsibility is to teach their own kids on how to navigate certain situations in life, yet not everyone has that close relationship with their parents, nor even have parents or a trusted guardian. Teenagers will rebel against any rule they don’t want to abide by, therefore it is very important that schools destigmatize any uncomfortable topics when teaching them in school. 


According to Planned ParentHood, teenagers who receive proper sexual education are half as likely to become pregnant than those who are in abstinence only programs. One well-known study by Mathematica found that students who participated in abstinence-only programs are just as likely to have sex as their peers who did not participate.


While it is a New York State requirement to teach about HIV/AIDS, proper comprehensive sexual education is not required, and abstinence must be stressed. Parents are able to permit their children to opt-out of any sexual education lesson. Although, it is required as a school in New York state to stress abstinence, it is optional to teach comprehensive education ( lessons on birth controls, abortions, pregnancies, STD prevention w/o abstinence) so why shouldn’t Victor take the step ahead to begin offering a more in depth education to those students who choose to participate? 


Sexual Education in New York . New York. (n.d.).,limited%20instruction%20on%20gender%20identity. 


It is important that classrooms  become a safe place for students to ask  important life questions. Not meaning we should be teaching 3rd graders how babies are made, and what plan b is, but for high school students to be properly educated on how to be safe.


I did try to reach out to Mrs.Muster regarding the idea of asking her a few questions about how she teaches sexual education at Victor and why it’s important, yet I heard no response, therefore I asked a few other teachers on what they think on the topic, regarding their students. 


One teacher was praising Mrs. Muster’s work, and explain how they’re across the hall from her. 


“She keeps it very real with the students” they said, “She knows most kids don’t follow abstinence, therefore she teaches what’s needed.”

A lot of other teachers agreed.


Overall, sexual education is a very uncomfortable topic for all parties learning/teaching about it, yet its life. In order to stay safe, and keep future generations safe, it’s important to stop the stigma around it, and offer it to students who want to learn about it.The class itself shouldn’t be mandatory, because of parents who may not feel comfortable, and want to take on that responsibility. 


Let’s be the change Victor!