THE BLOG

It's Time to Make Sex Education Mandatory in Our Nation's Schools

04/09/2013 10:44 am ET | Updated Jun 09, 2013
  • Steve Siebold Author and expert in the field of critical thinking and mental toughness training

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says one in five births to U.S. teens ages 15-19 is not a first child. The data comes from 365,000 teens who gave birth in 2010 and shows that 67,000 of those were the teen mom's second child. It's time we revisit sexual education in America's schools and make it a part of the curriculum in every middle school and high school.

The delusional thinking is that providing comprehensive sex education in schools is an endorsement of sexual activity. So instead, in the richest country in the world, we are forced to learn about sex on the streets. Here's objective reality: Whether you like it or not, teenagers are going to have sex. They always have and always will.

According to America's Center for Disease Control, 47.4 percent of high school students have had sex. And these are only the kids who admit it. The average teenager has been exposed to more sexually explicit movies, games, magazines, and other materials than we have in our entire lives. As much as some Americans would like to hold on, the days of Ozzie and Harriet are over. Teenagers are bombarded by sex; what they are lacking is sex education.

They're learning lovemaking through porn. Are we too emotionally immature to educate our kids about one of the most beautiful parts of life? Only 22 states require their public schools to teach sex education, which is an embarrassment for a country that claims to be progressive. Our public school system is still debating whether or not providing condoms in school promotes sexual promiscuity. Condoms don't promote promiscuity -- hormones promote promiscuity! Giving students access to condoms doesn't increase their odds of having sex, it just increases the odds that they'll have safe sex.

I remember sneaking into a drug store when I was in high school to buy condoms. It was a painful experience because like most Americans, I was programmed in church to be ashamed of my sexual desires. Critical thinking says it's time to pass legislation that mandates comprehensive sex education in all of our public schools.

The human sex drive is the most powerful force on earth. Harnessed and celebrated, it's a beautiful, natural phenomenon that produces unparalleled pleasure. People have risked fame, fortune, and their very lives in pursuit of the ultimate sexual experience. Yet in America, we learn little about sex as children and are brainwashed to believe it's wrong unless we are married.

Our culture of sexual repression makes America appear naive and immature in relation to many parts of the world. The delusional thinking around sex in America is derived primarily from puritanical dogma that bullies us into believing sex is a sin. Critical thinking says nothing will ever stop the most primal drive that smolders within the human psyche. Nature will always favor this form of expression, no matter how many fanatics threaten us with eternal damnation.

Religious and political leaders in America are notorious for delivering speeches and sermons with puritanical fervor while simultaneously engaging in the same acts they condemn. Whether it's the president of the United States or the hellfire evangelical, the hypocrisy among American leaders is legendary. And sex scandals are not new to America. From Ben Franklin to Thomas Jefferson, senators and congressmen, to hundreds of Catholic priests -- all have participated in what many describe as sexual misconduct. Sex is an undeniable force that can manifest itself positively or negatively, but make no mistake: It will manifest itself.

I'm not encouraging teenagers to go out and have sex, but critical thinking says as sure as the sun will rise in the east, teenagers are going to have sex. So rather than fight the inevitable, why not do everything we can to make sure they are having safe sex?