Why Children Need Sex Ed
Parenting would be a lot easier if it were like baking – exact ingredients, precise directions, specific chocolate-to-dough ratio, and voila! The perfect chocolate chip cookie! (Um, I mean, kid). While there’s literally no one specific recipe for raising children, a lot of parents incorporate informed decision-making in their approach.
Choosing if, how, and when to talk with kids openly about sex is no exception. It’s a personal decision that’s unique to each parent. Mothers and fathers often consider several factors such as their own upbringing and culture, belief system, societal messages, and as mentioned above, research. You might also think you don’t have to shoulder this alone, particularly if your school district offers sex ed.
If you’re wondering how to best approach all of this, here are some things to bear in mind:
- Even if you live in one of those states, not all sex education programs are created equal.
- 25 states and DC mandate both sex education and HIV education.
- 3 states only mandate sex education.
- 10 states only mandate HIV education.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “When children and adolescents lack access to comprehensive sex education, they do not get the information they need to make informed, healthy decisions about their lives, relationships, and behaviors.”
If kids don’t get solid information about the facts or clear communication from their parents about their own family’s values, children are at greater risk for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), unplanned pregnancy, misinformation, or inadequate details regarding dating violence, sexual abuse, and unhealthy relationships.
While all of this can be daunting, there are many resources parents can turn to for advice! You can check out our Sex Education page here. And, as always, you can ask and should your pediatrician or primary care provider for guidance.
If you need more advice or have any other sexuality-related questions, reach out to our experts at Maze Men’s Health! We can help you choose your next steps toward healthy sex and relationships.