Being a high school student, I see pregnant teenagers every single day. In fact, there are multiple in some of my classes! This is high school in the United States. Here in the States, we have the highest teenage birth rate in comparison to other developed countries. I had begun to question why none of the students in my state have had sexual education when these future-crippling events can be avoided. As far as I can remember, the only time I was taught of any “sex” education was of HIV and AIDS by a visitor in my health class as a freshman. The question now is are our nation’s schools doing an adequate job of preparing our students for their futures in regards to sex education?
Statistics would direct us to no. According to ncsl.org, as of March 2012, Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia require public schools to teach sex education. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia require education only on Sexually Transmitted Diseases, such as HIV and AIDS. If less than half of our nation’s schools are taught of sex in general, how are our nation’s students prepared for their lives outside of the classroom?
Research by sterlingschools.org would also indicate that annually, one out of every ten females from the ages of fifteen to nineteen will conceive. Out of that statistic comes another: forty percent of those who conceive will drop out and claim pregnancy as the reasoning as to why.
Here are some more statistics: Seventy percent of those who do conceive will finish high school (granted, it is often two years after their graduating class) but the probability of them furthering their education is rather slim.
When given all of the information above, one will have to ponder if there is a direction correlation between a lack of sex education and the rate of teenage pregnancy. Former US Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders states on medicalnewstoday.com that it allows for a pupil’s vulnerability to attacks as well as sexually transmitted diseases.
When surveyed in 2009, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as told by ncsl.org, students revealed that forty-six percent of all high schools students claim to have had sex. If there are that many students in our country that are sexually active, and at most, half of the country is being educated on the matters, is it any surprise that the birth rate of teenage pregnancies has sky rocketed? I would think not.
In any case, there are options for pregnant women in high school. Many will choose to opt into distance learning, where they are able to care for their children and continue their education. In some cases, schools will go as far as to offer day care to the child through a childhood education program. In others, day cares in close proximity will offer day care to a student as well. These options seem to be the most profitable, as one will be able to balance being a mother and student simultaneously.