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花旗国的半边天

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如何把握性教育的度?(Sex Education: How Much Information is Too Much?)  

2011-06-28 11:56:51|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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如何把握性教育的度?(Sex Education: How Much Information is Too Much?) - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天
 在美国,人们对性教育的重要性深信不疑并支持将其纳入学校课程。一项由全国公共广播电台、凯撒家庭基金会和哈佛大学的肯尼迪管理学院联合发起的投票 显示,93%的美国民众认为学校应该开展某种形式的性教育。但是,虽然大多数美国人肯定性教育的重要性,他们却对于性教育应有的深度有着不同的意见。人们普遍接受学校课程包含一些基本事实,诸如青春期、有性生殖和不安全性行为的危害等。但谈到应该向学生提供什么有关避孕和安全性行为的信息,人们意见不一。

Across the United States, people overwhelmingly believe in the importance of sex education and support its inclusion in school curriculum. According to a poll by the National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, 93 percent of Americans think that some form of sex education should be taught in schools. However, although most Americans appreciate sex education’s importance, they do not agree about how in-depth its coverage should be. While it is generally accepted that the basic facts about puberty, sexual reproduction, and the dangers of unprotected sex should be included, there are widely divergent opinions on what kind of information should be provided about contraception and safe sex practices.

The controversy largely stems from widespread discomfort at the idea of teenagers being sexually active. Many people believe that premarital sex is wrong because of their moral or religious convictions and this frequently impacts their views regarding what type of sex education should be taught in schools. Most people agree that teenagers should be warned about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unplanned pregnancy that accompany unprotected sex, but a small percentage of Americans believe that no further information should be given. This minority (15 percent of the population) believes that students should be taught that there is no such thing as safe sex and that abstaining from sex is the only effective way to protect themselves. Even others who share this minority’s discomfort with teenage sexual activity believe that this limited, “abstinence-only” approach is insufficient and even dangerous. The majority of the population believes that it is unrealistic to expect that all teenagers will wait to have sex until marriage and that it is thus schools’ responsibility to educate students about how to protect themselves should they choose to have sex. 46 percent of Americans believe that sex education programs should provide information about preventive measures such as condoms and contraceptives but still teach that abstinence is best. A slightly smaller portion of the population (36 percent) believes that programs should not actively promote abstinence over other approaches but rather focus on preparing students to make healthy and responsible decisions about their own sexual activity.

While I understand the moral concerns that cause people to advocate abstinence-only forms of sex education, I do believe that this form of sex education is insufficient.  Studies have shown that students receiving abstinence-only education are not more likely than students receiving more comprehensive forms of sex education to wait to have sex.  This means that many abstinence-only educated teenagers are taking the same risks as their peers, but are less equipped to protect themselves because they are not given the same information about condoms and contraceptives. This lack of information is particularly dangerous for young women, who are often more detrimentally impacted as a result of unprotected sex because of unplanned pregnancies. Like it or not, some teenagers will be sexually active and it is better to provide them with information that will help them protect themselves than to hope that ignorance will keep them in innocence.


讨论:你认为应该对青少年的性教育应该有多深入?(Discussion Question: How in-depth do you think sex education should be for teenagers?)


Sources:
Cornblatt, Johannah. "The Sin of Yielding to Impure Desire." Newsweek 28 Oct. 2009: n. pag. 
     Newsweek. Web. 27 June 2011. <http://www.newsweek.com/>. 
"Sex Education in America." NPR. National Public Radio, 24 Feb. 2004. Web. 27 June 2011. 
     <http://www.npr.org>. 
Sternburg, Steve. "Sex education stirs controversy." USA Today 10 July 2002: n. pag. USA Today. Web. 
     27 June 2011. <http://www.usatoday.com>. 


Image:
By Dashaundamon (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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