3 Reasons to Start Sex Ed Classes before High School

A sex education program targeted at middle school students reports success at reducing the number of sexually active teens who take the course. Called “Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education that Works”, more than 150 schools have implemented the program in Texas, Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts.

The program focuses on accurate medical information regarding sexuality, and is designed to work in conjunction with parents as the main front for talking honestly with their kids about sexual activity. It is not an abstinence-only program, but does provide advice on encouraging kids to say “no” to sex.

In case you’re feeling a little ambivalent about starting sex ed in middle school, here are three stats you want to consider first:

  1. According to the program site, 15 percent fewer girls and 16 percent fewer boys who take “Get Real” classes engage in sexual activity compared with their peers.  The numbers are even more impactful because the program is targeted at middle schools where students are at a higher risk for engaging in sexual activity.
  2. A study released by New York University’s Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health and Planned Parenthood found that by the time children reached age 21, only 1 in 5 parents had a discussion with their kids about birth control, saying “no” to sex and where to go for sexual health information.
  3. The survey also found that nearly one-third of parents have never talked with their kids about where to go for reproductive health care.

Programs like “Get Real” are a necessity in our K-12 schools, and definitely by the middle school age. Waiting until high school means that kids have had several years of exposure to misinformation and may already been sexually active. Age-appropriate, heath-based sex education is the right way to go — and I hope that “Get Real” spreads to more schools.

Now let’s hear from you: what do you think about starting sex ed early?  Feel free to leave a comment.


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