Photo courtesy of LA Care
CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts

Opinion: STD influx on the rise, high school sex education at an all time low

Reports of rises in STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis for the fourth consecutive year can be evidently linked to the inaccurate and low number of high school sex-ed classes in high schools.

As the future generation comes of age, current teachers and leaders have taken the forefront of providing teenagers with the “correct” way of living. This includes ethics, sexual education and government to keep the younger generations informed and educated. However, when these classes come with a bias from a religious or political belief is when outcomes of disease increase occurs.

As of 2018, 34 states in the United States have been legally required to implement sex-ed into their high school curriculum. However, only 13 of these states require medically accurate information, 10 of these states are required to teach abstinence and eight of these states are required to speak about sexual orientation. California falls under none of these requirements, including the legal implementation of such education, allowing schools to skip it entirely.

One of the main issues that is only fueling the problem is the teaching of abstinence. Especially in high schools with a religious basis, beliefs and views play a huge role when it comes to the 21 states that are more conservative as most of them are based in the southern region.

Also in America, “Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage” programs have still been, “funded by Title V [who] do not allow funds to be used to teach about condoms and contraception,” according to the Advocates for Youth. Title V strives to improve the health for mothers and children, specifically children with special needs. The fact that teenagers are being told “what not to do” instead of being told how to be safe, especially in a time when sexual hormones are at an all time high, leads to no shock that the nation’s STD percentage has doubled in the past four years.

The 1970s was one of the largest AIDS/HIV epidemics in history. Society will in fact repeat such a dark time if we do not improve the future by educating the future.