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About human sexuality:

Sex education in schools

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star Important note:

All medical, legal, and other information on this web site is for general educational purposes only. For specific information including advice, diagnoses, options, and treatment, see your physician, lawyer or other professional. There is a lot of misinformation on some web sites about human sexuality. Only act on information from medical organizations. If in doubt, see your physician.

One source of detailed information about STIs -- including symptoms, diagnosis, tests, prevention, risk factors, images, etc. -- can be obtained from the U. S. National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus web site at: https://medlineplus.gov/

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Beliefs about human sexuality:

There are major differences in beliefs about human sexuality within and among the approximately 30,000 Christian denominations, sects, and faith groups across the world, and both within and among the other major religions. There are also differences among people with secular belief systems.

For example:

  • Medical associations, secularists, and religious liberals, generally regard heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual orientation to be three normal and natural orientations that are probably caused by epigenetics -- a layer on top of one's DNA that turns genes on and off. Sexual orientation is thus determined before birth. It is discovered, but not chosen, later in life, and cannot be changed by counseling and therapy.

  • Many conservative Christian groups regard only sexual activity between a wife and her husband to be moral. Most believe that sexual activity between and among persons of the same sex is immoral. Many believe that homosexuality is an orientation chosen later in life which can be altered by reparative therapy and prayer.

  • Transgender persons experience a conflict between the gender with which they currently identify and the biological sex that they were identified as being at birth. Many say that they have a female brain in a male body, or vice versa. There is some evidence for this, because there are structures near the center of the brain which differ between males and females in terms of size and neuron density. Transgender persons who were identified as female at birth and who now identify as male are found to have male brain structures, and vice versa.

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Surveys of sexual activity:

Various U.S. studies have shown that:

  • The average age at which people become sexually active is about 17. The age differs among genders and racial groups. 3

  • 40% of high school graduates are virgins. 4

  • All but 12.3% of female and 14.3% of male young adults between 20 and 24 had become sexually active. 4

  • A study in 2014 found that 30% of adults considered premarital sex unacceptable; 29% found it acceptable, and 36% felt that it was not a moral issue. 5

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One particularly contentious topic is the teaching of "sex ed" in schools.

Beliefs cover a wide range:

  • Schools should teach that all sexual activity should be restricted to married couples.

  • School courses should discuss the full range of common sexual activities with effective techniques for preventing pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, HIV/AIDS, Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis and over 15 others. These are spread via bacteria, parasites, yeast, or viruses. 1 STIs are sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or venereal diseases.

  • Not teaching details of sexual behavior and prevention of STI's because that might encourage them to become sexually active.

  • Equality California is a non-profit civil rights organization that advocates for equal rights of LGBT people in their state. Spokesperson Samuel Garret-Pate said:

    "Too often LGBTQ students in particular don’t receive information during sex education that teaches them about healthy practices. ... It’s not the birds and the bees. It’s not biological anymore. It’s not sex ed. It’s sexuality education."

  • President Jonathan Keller of the California Family Council, a conservative Christian group, said:

    "The state of California should not force moms and dads to choose between participating in public school and protecting their children’s innocence. No student needs to be exposed to this graphic and explicit material. It’s child abuse."

  • The Department of Education issued a statement, saying:

    "Our priority is to make all children feel comfortable at school. Dispelling myths, breaking down stereotypes, and linking students to resources can help prevent bullying, self-harm, feelings of hopelessness, and serious considerations of suicide."

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2019-MAY-08: California: A typical confrontation over sex-ed:

The California Department of Education unanimously approved major changes to the state’s health and sex education framework. Elementary school students as young as 5 will be taught about sexual orientation, sex-trafficking, and gender identity. High school students will be taught about more advanced topics. Before their meeting, about two hundred people rallied against the changes in nearby Capitol Park.

Kindra Britt, speaking for the Department of Education said:

"After rising levels of sexually transmitted diseases in teenagers nationwide, this framework was created to help provide necessary education to ensure that students are equipped to make informed and educated decisions when it comes to their sexual health."

She also also said the revisions were designed to:

"... “take the needs of our LGBTQ youth into consideration to make sure they felt safe and supported while at school."

Some children experience transgender feelings by their third birthday. They may benefit from learning in elementary school about being transgender. However, some parents are concerned that discussing the topic in school will cause gender confusion, and lead to many more young children feeling that they are transgender. At the rally that opposed the new curriculum, Stephanie Yates of Informed Parents of California apparently objected to the transgender component and asked:

"How are they helping kids find themselves when they are confusing them about who they are, or they could possibly be nothing at all. This stuff should be taught at home."

Informed Parents of California plan to hold demonstrations in each county office of the Department of Education in the state.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Sexually Transmitted Diseases," Medicine Plus, at: https://medlineplus.gov/
  2. "California Dept of education passes obscene K-12 sex ed over parent protest," Life Site News, 2019-MAY-10, at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/
  3. Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg et al., "Age of sexual debut among US adolescents," US National Library of Medicine, 2011-MAR-25, at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
  4. Lori Alexander, "Only 12.3 Percent of Females are Virgins After College," The Transformed Wife, 2018-SEP-05, at: https://thetransformedwife.com/
  5. "Premarital sex," Wikipedia, as on 2019-MAY-09, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/

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How you may have arrived here:

 Home page > Human sexuality > here

 Home page > "Hot" topics > Human sexuality >here

 Home page > Christianity > Christian history, belief... > Beliefs > Human sexuality > here

or Home page > Christianity > History, practices... > Christian practices > Human sexuality > here

or Home page > Religious Information > Basic data > Human sexuality > here

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Copyright © 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2019-MAY-11
Author: B.A. Robinson
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