Should sex education be taught in public schools?
The University of Arizona Global Campus
12 Aug 2023
Public school sex education has long been debated for its importance, efficacy, and potential downsides. This report carefully examines both proponents and opponents of sex education in public schools. Should sex education be a part of the public school curriculum? This inquiry requires thoroughly examining the pros and cons of integrating sex education into the curriculum. The goal is to understand the far-reaching effects of sex education in public schools by systematically exploring varied viewpoints and carefully assessing academic arguments. This analysis will illuminate this difficult issue and contribute to the current discussion on a holistic educational approach for the growing young population.
Presentation of an Argument
The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health study by Lameiras-Fernández et al. (2021) illustrates the benefits of sex education in schools. Sex education helps pupils get reliable information, according to the study. This facilitates sexual issues discussions. The study shows that sex education may teach pupils about sexual health in depth, which helps them make sexual health decisions. The research further indicates that sex education in schools helps students understand their bodies, relationships, and responsibilities, making them safer and healthier.
Lameiras-Fernández et al. (2021) make the following main arguments:
· Premise 1: Comprehensive sex education programs in schools offer students a structured and guided environment to learn about sexual health, relationships, and communication.
· Premise 2: These programs are designed by experts and educators who utilize evidence-based approaches to provide accurate and up-to-date information.
· Premise 3: Adolescents often encounter challenges related to sexual health and relationships, and having a reliable source of information can empower them to communicate their concerns effectively.
· Premise 4: Effective communication about sexual matters contributes to healthier relationships and informed decision-making.
· Conclusion: Therefore, sex education in schools is a proper source of information, equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to communicate openly and responsibly about their sexual problems.
Their findings show that comprehensive sex education programs teach pupils about sexual health and communication skills. Such programs address adolescents’ needs and challenges. Sex education helps kids understand their bodies, create healthy relationships, and express their concerns. Lameiras-Fernández et al. (2021) also note that sex education programs help break down sexuality-related barriers. Due to social taboos or insufficient advice, adolescents may hesitate to seek information or communicate their concerns. Open conversations are safe in a regulated educational atmosphere. Interactive sessions help students learn and practice communication skills to discuss sexual issues, seek assistance, and make educated decisions.
Evaluation of the Quality of the Reasoning in this Source
Lameiras-Fernández et al. (2021) make a persuasive case for sex education as a resource of information for students to address sexual issues. Systematic literature and empirical evidence support the article’s premises. The authors explain how specialists use evidence-based methods to create and administer comprehensive sex education programs (Premise 2). They show that such programs include several sexual health and communication topics, supporting Premise 1.
The premises support the conclusion. Effective sexual communication promotes healthier relationships and informed decision-making (Premise 4). They demonstrate how comprehensive sex education equips students with both factual knowledge and the ability to have open and responsible sexual interactions. The logical path from the premises to the conclusion is well-structured and coherent, strengthening the argument.
However, the argument could be strengthened by adding some missing premises. For instance, the article could benefit from empirical data showing that comprehensive sex education improves student communication abilities. The authors present adequate evidence for the relevance of sex education and its impact on communication, but more direct evidence would strengthen the argument. Additionally, the article implies that comprehensive sex education programs are widely adopted and effective. It would be useful to address potential differences in program quality and delivery across educational contexts and problems in establishing successful sex education initiatives. Include these missing premises to strengthen your case.
Presentation of an Opposing Argument
Sell (2019) takes a contrasting view on how sex education may affect younger pupils’ religious perspectives. This source discusses the possibility that religious students may be concerned about sex education in public schools. It may conflict with their core ideals. According to the text, such teaching may collide with students’ religious beliefs. According to this opinion, addressing these ideas in classrooms could conflict with some students’ religious beliefs. The article raises worries about sex education’s potential to create a barrier between what is taught in schools and what is vital to certain students’ religious views, which could cause problems for educators and students.
Sell (2019)’s major argument is as follows:
· Premise 1: Sex education programs often cover topics that may contradict or challenge certain religious teachings and values.
· Premise 2: Younger students, particularly those from conservative religious backgrounds, may find it difficult to reconcile the information presented in sex education with their religious beliefs.
· Premise 3: Exposure to conflicting information about sexual practices and relationships could lead to moral and emotional distress among students.
· Conclusion: Therefore, sex education can risk hurting younger students’ religious beliefs and emotional well-being.
The article emphasizes that discussing contraception, premarital sex, and LGBTQ+ partnerships may contradict religious and ethical norms. According to the author, exposing pupils to material that conflicts with their religious beliefs might cause bewilderment, guilt, and inner turmoil. Sex education programs should also incorporate students’ religious beliefs and values, according to Sell (2019). Students may feel ostracized or excluded if the method isn’t attentive to other faith viewpoints. The paper stresses the importance of educators being aware of potential conflicts between sex education curricula and religious teachings and creating an environment that respects and accommodates different beliefs.
Evaluation of the Quality of the Reasoning in this Source
Sell (2019) makes a compelling case that sex education may impair younger students’ religious convictions. The source addresses real concerns. However, some parts of the argument need further examination to assess its validity. Premise 1 is supported by examples of sex education curriculum that conflicts with religious principles. It recognizes conservative religious opposition to contraception and non-heteronormative pairings. The source supports its claim by highlighting apparent discrepancies.
However, the premises may not entirely support the conclusion. While some students may struggle to reconcile sex education content with their religious views (Premise 2), the essay focuses on the emotional distress this conflict may create. The article would be more substantial if it provided empirical evidence or case studies showing how conflicting information in sex education has harmed students’ religious beliefs or emotional well-being. A deeper examination of how educators might reconcile faith and sex education is missing. The argument would be strengthened if the article provided actual answers or instances of how sex education programs have been altered to accommodate varied religious beliefs. The article also implies students’ religious beliefs are constant and unchangeable. It could benefit from embracing religious plurality, where teachings are interpreted differently. Recognizing that not all religious students perceive the same tension between sex education and their values could enhance the argument.
Evaluation of Arguments in Non-Scholarly and Scholarly Sources
Scholarly sources like Lameiras-Fernández et al. (2021) and Sell (2019) have greater argumentation and premise support than non-scholarly ones. Scholarly sources use literature reviews and empirical data to provide thorough, evidence-based analyses. These sources articulate premises, typically using peer-reviewed studies and expert insights, creating well-structured and logically cohesive arguments. Scholarly sources provide extensive research to support their claims. On the other hand, non-scholarly sources, including online forums, opinion pieces, and sensationalist stories, lack rigor and credibility. These sources may use anecdotes, personal opinions, or emotionally charged rhetoric, weakening their arguments. Non-scholarly sources may simplify, lack analysis, and ignore counterarguments. Thus, non-scholarly sources may have poorer reasoning and less justification for premises.
This activity highlighted the need to source information from scholarly and respected places. Evaluating arguments in scholarly and non-scholarly sources has underlined the need for rigorous research, evidence-based reasoning, and full consideration of different perspectives. I’ll prioritize well-supported and logically coherent scholarly sources in the future. This experience underscores the importance of using trustworthy, peer-reviewed research to strengthen my claims. It also reminds me to approach complex subjects with a balanced, informed perspective and use high-quality information to facilitate well-rounded dialogues.
Lameiras-Fernández, M., Martínez-Román, R., Carrera-Fernández, M. V., & Rodríguez-Castro, Y. (2021). Sex Education in the Spotlight: What Is Working? Systematic Review.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,
Sell, J. E. M. (2019, April 28).
Faith, Relationships, and Sex Education: Giving voice to young people of different faiths and none in regard to faith-sensitive relationships and sex education. Discovery.ucl.ac.uk. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072639/
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