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Word Count: 1,998
Talking to American kids about sex is becoming more and more difficult In the ever-changing landscape of our westernized society one constant is the pervasive theme of sex From magazine covers and television to the Internet and roadside billboards sex sells in this culture and we as people are constantly bombarded by sexually based messages It is thereby understandable that children and young adults would be confused about sex especially since the adult population has become less than open on the subject of sexuality With parents unwilling to talk to their children the job of educating Americas youth about sexuality and the dangers thereof has fallen to the public school system The same public school system that graduates students who cannot read their diplomas is in our modern American culture responsible for teaching children about sex The concern of parents and teachers alike across the country is how to best educate children on this touchy societal subject and what message should be most prominent in that process These programs range in focus from an abstinence-only message to full discussions of sexual orientation and contraceptives and often times it depends on location of the school as to what focus the children will be subject to This research will show however that our society fails to provide children with a consistent message regarding sexual development and that programs nationwide should be standardized in order to better prepare and protect young people for their sexual maturation First it is important to understand where teenagers are coming from in order to best assess the needs of sex ed programs As shown in Chart 1 more than half of the high-schoolers in America reported themselves as having had sexual intercourse in 1999 according to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control This is an increase in percentage over two years ago however it is a decrease of over four percent since 1991 The median age for
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