A Letter to President Barack Obama: The Importance of Sex Education for Youth (by Rashae Burns)

President Barak Obama

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear President Barak Obama,

Looking at the way that health care is going and the changes being made by Obama Care. We knowing that it stands for equal healthcare for all people, I can’t help to think about what the healthcare reform means to our youth. When we think about the portion of the reform that discusses how preventative health care is going to be a focus and provided at no cost, we must also look at what prevention means. Not just free Pap Smears and mammograms for women or colonoscopies to check for polyps in the colon, but what about classes and education being available when it comes to making choices about your total wellness. Teaching people about how to be healthy for free or even starting young with our youth and educating them in schools about their bodies so that as they reach the ages of getting their own health care they are healthy and become more active in their healthcare. More so we see that there is a lot of care for our older generations, but through teaching our youth about being healthy and their total health, as a country we would be much stronger with the healthcare reform. One major thing that we need to be focusing on in preventative health care in our youth is to discuss sexuality and sexual health with our adolescence and young adults. Having education being provided in the medical offices and even at the schools would help our youth become more knowledgeable about their bodies, how they work and how to make informed decisions on their sexual health and there for making better choices on their total health overall.

There are many articles with enlightening facts about how education provided in regard to sexual health creates healthier decisions when it comes to becoming sexual or engaging in intercourse. There are differences in the way that sexual education is administered in other countries and how the United States has tried to adapt and push for the same, if not similar types of programs. These programs would not be to for promoting sexual activities, but rather promote sexual health and provide the knowledge that is needed to make healthy decisions. In the article there are statements from the United States Surgeon General in regard to the position that they take on promoting healthy sexual information. The Surgeon General is mentioned as making statements regarding sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, rates of abortion and pregnancy, while taking into account the backgrounds and societies and how the rates differ when educated. Although it is clear which side the Surgeon General is for, there is still their declaration “the Surgeon General recognized the need for more basic research in human sexual development, sexual health, and reproductive health, including social and behavioral research on risk and protective factors for sexual health.” There is a lot more research that would be needed to determine if implementing sexual education would be a good thing for children to learn as a part of their education.

Learning that sociologically people learn from their experiences and from what they are taught, and those experiences shape the decisions that people make in adolescence and on into their adulthood. So why not add sexual education as part of the education provided to the young and impressionable minds. It seems that even though there is health education in the schools that there is a lot of repel for expanding knowledge to youth on sexual activities and the choice they make to interact, abstain and protect themselves when making decisions. We know that the abstinence only approach has not been successful and not talking about it at all with our youth has not been the best approach either. So that our emerging young adults are equipped with the tools that they need to make well-informed choices about their sexual health and seeking preventative and protective care. We know that in order to make an informed decision we need to be given all the information.

Although teaching our youth about intercourse, the risk, the protections and the preventative care that is available, can be seen as either a negative or a positive. It seems that the studies that have been done and the research around sexual education proves that there are more positives than negatives. It seems that education and being able to make knowledgeable decisions when it comes to not only sex and engaging or abstaining, but it can help boost self esteem in society knowing that there are options and as an individual it is their right and choice. My hope is that you would consider some time of standard for the sexual and sexuality education of our youth, so that eventually we create a more informed society; that as the generations grown and become the future they will carry on the knowledge and overtime we will be a healthier community in our total health.

 

Sincerely

 

 

Rashae Burns

 

 

 

Work Cited

Walcott, Christy M., Tiffany Chenneville, and Sarah Tarquini. “Relationship Between Recall Of Sex Education And College Students’ Sexual Attitudes And Behavior.” Psychology In The Schools 48.8 (2011): 828-842. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.

Illes, Judit. “Young Sexual Citizens: Reimagining Sex Education As An Essential Form Of Civic Engagement.” Sex Education 12.5 (2012): 613-625. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.

Johnson, Carolyn. “‘Obamacare’ Means Preventative Care for Women.” ‘Obamacare’ Means Preventative Care for Women » Peoplesworld. People’s World, 31 July 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <http://www.peoplesworld.org/obamacare-means-preventative-care-for-women/&gt;.

Enhancing Self-Esteem Through Wellness Programs

Jenepher P. Shillingford and Anne Shillingford Mackin

The Elementary School Journal , Vol. 91, No. 5, Special Issue: Sports and Physical Education (May, 1991), pp. 457-466 Web. 24 Nov. 2012

Published by: The University of Chicago Press

Article Stable URL: http://0-www.jstor.org.library.pcc.edu/stable/1001886

 

Promoting Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior: An Introduction

Eli Coleman

The Journal of Sex Research , Vol. 39, No. 1, Promoting Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior (Feb., 2002), pp. 3-6 Web. 24 Nov. 2012.

Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.

Article Stable URL: http://0-www.jstor.org.library.pcc.edu/stable/3813415

 

******

Here is the research collection that informed the letter to President Obama.

In looking for articles and journals for the research collection I used the PCC library sources to look up the topic of sexual education, wellness, health and prevention. I used Ebsco and Jstor to search and found these references below. I am not sure how closely they related but I am currently reading through them so that I can find the parts that fit with my topic and what it is that I am trying to convey in my writing.

Walcott, Christy M., Tiffany Chenneville, and Sarah Tarquini. “Relationship Between Recall Of Sex Education And College Students’ Sexual Attitudes And Behavior.” Psychology In The Schools 48.8 (2011): 828-842. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.

Summary: This journal is full of statistics in regard to lifestyles and sexual choices made by teens and young adults. It shows the statics based on the studies of children who grew up being educated verses the ones that did not. The finding show that those who had the sexual education made more responsible decisions when it came to sexual activity and abstaining from engaging in sexual intercourse. It shows that education is key when reducing the numbers of STI/HIV infections when our youth is properly educated on the topic.

Illes, Judit. “Young Sexual Citizens: Reimagining Sex Education As An Essential Form Of Civic Engagement.” Sex Education 12.5 (2012): 613-625. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.

Summary: This article talks about the youth also being citizens. It addresses how sexual education is a positive thing to help the next generation’s young and growing minds so that they are able to make informed decisions.

Johnson, Carolyn. “‘Obama care’ Means Preventative Care for Women.” ‘Obama care’ Means Preventative Care for Women » Peoplesworld. People’s World, 31 July 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <http://www.peoplesworld.org/obamacare-means-preventative-care-for-women/&gt;.

Summary: This talks about preventative care that will be gained by women. With the new health care reform there will be a lot of changes to the way that we as a country do health care and preventions being covered are one of the primary changes.

Enhancing Self-Esteem Through Wellness Programs

Jenepher P. Shillingford and Anne Shillingford Mackin

The Elementary School Journal , Vol. 91, No. 5, Special Issue: Sports and Physical Education (May, 1991), pp. 457-466

Published by: The University of Chicago Press

Article Stable URL: http://0-www.jstor.org.library.pcc.edu/stable/1001886

 Summary: This talks about self esteem and how wellness affects that. When someone is feeling well they have an overall better esteem about taking care of themselves. It focuses on total wellness all around for an individual.

 

Promoting Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior: An Introduction

Eli Coleman

The Journal of Sex Research , Vol. 39, No. 1, Promoting Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior (Feb., 2002), pp. 3-6

Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.

Article Stable URL: http://0-www.jstor.org.library.pcc.edu/stable/3813415

 Summary: This article talks directly about how knowledge is helpful in decision making. Focusing on how informed decisions can be made when someone is making the choice to engage or abstain from intercourse and forms of it. The article gives data to back up the findings.

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One comment

  1. I completely agree with you that we need to start really making sure that our youth is being educated about their sexual health. Sexual education should start at a young age, children should know what is taking place with their bodies every step of the way. It is a shame that sex is such a taboo subject and that the social norm is to just let kids figure things out on their own. I really admire your writing this letter and pointing out the tough truths with it. Hopefully in the future children will be guided through the tough world of puberty and even feel confident through it in some way.

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