Opinion

Ignored Sex Education

The Consequences of Unprotected Sex In America

By: Sammy Quarrato

Poor “solutions” that do not and will not work in this day and age. Credit: bpr.berkeley.edu

An issue that is often ignored and overlooked by the mass population, politicians, mainstream news channels and even some of the more independent thinkers of the world is sexual health.

Sexual health is often put under abortion due to the overall coverage it recieves, debate questions for politicans, and schools using that as one of their main debate topics. The “simple concept” of the debate being whether or not abortion is right, and when. 

Sexual health on the other hand is far more consequential than what people realize.

For example, about 110 million STD cases are present in the United States today. Roughly around a quarter of American citizens therefore have an incurable STD. The eight most apparent ones are HPV, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, genital herpes, syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B.

Younger people, ages 15-24, make up a quarter of the people who are sexually active, yet have half of all STD cases, which costs $15.6 billion every year to treat.

There are many other problems related to sex and sexual health that face the nation that are not being discussed as much as they should be, such as how 12 states and the District of Columbia have a teen birth rate of more than 30 out of every 1,000 females aged 12-19. All of these states are in the south, southwest or midwest. 

The entire Northeast, except Pennsylvania, has a teen birth rate of 20 or less alongside Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Washington.

The main cause of all of these unfortunate problems was the government neglecting aid for HIV/AIDS cases that were rising in the LGBTQ community. This was occuring in the 1980s under the Reagan Administration, despite protests and the pleas of help for the White House to do something.

The majority of the United States during the time, besides very liberal areas such as New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia, did not view HIV/AIDS as a sexual disease that could be passed to hetereosexual individuals.

Due to poor conventional wisdom, not only did HIV/AIDS cases multiply, but so did other incurable cases of STDs that would show up due to the ignorance of the public and the inaction of the government.

With the case of teen pregnancy, the main cause is objectively similar, if not the same.

Due to younger people being completely unaware of the consequences, alongside lack of experience, hormonal changes, and innocence, they act as kids going through physical change and go with their instinct.

The majority of states do not make sex education mandatory, and same-sex information is presented in public schools in the form of negativity and discouragement.

States such as Tennesse only make sexual education mandatory when the teen pregnancy rate becomes “too high,” despite the rate of the state being part of those states where girls 15-19 years old have teen pregnancies above the national average.

In the Information Age, it is sad to see so many people suffer due to conventional wisdom, inactive governments, cultural pressure, and overall ignorance that people meet this large and growing problem with.

Categories: Opinion

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