Over the last several weeks op-eds and editorials supporting comprehensive sex ed have appeared in papers across the country. This is not at all surprising given that the end of summer marks the beginning of a new school year.An editorial in the Athens Banner-Herald out of Georgia encourages the Clarke County School District to reconsider its abstinence-only-until-marriage approach to sex ed. Citing the efforts of a local task force to reduce both the poverty rate (Athens-Clarke County has the fifth highest poverty rate in the nation) and the teen pregnancy rate ("approximately one of every three young girls in the county will have a child before she is 20 years old") the editorial notes that without a change in the curriculum it will be difficult to tackle these issues.In New Mexico, The Albuquerque Tribune says that the abstinence-only-until-marriage program Albuquerque's Best Choice "does not offer the best choice, either in the integrity of its own operations [the program is currently being investigated by federal authorities for "fiscal irregularities"] or in the sex-education information that it is transmitting to students in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho schools" and cites a comprehensive approach as the best for students in a county with a high teen pregnancy rate.An op-ed in the Press & Sun Bulletin out of Binghamton, New York, says comprehensive sex ed should be added to the three Rs -- reading, writing, and arithmetic.
A bad grade on a homework assignment can be overcome, but there are some life choices which cannot be done over. An unintended pregnancy has serious long-term implications for teens and families. A sexually transmitted infection can impact a person's entire life. So why aren't we giving students the education they need to make good life decisions?
And finally, a new documentary tackles the ongoing controversy over what students should learn when it comes to sex education. Sex Ed and the State, which started out as a master's thesis for Jim Winkle when he was a student at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, examines the legislative battle over codifying sex ed in Minnesota. You can watch a preview of the film here.