Posted: December 11, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY

Sex Education Falling Short of CDC Recommendations

While there are not many teens who particularly enjoy those painfully awkward sex ed classes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these topics for a reason. For many, sex ed talks at home either come too late or don’t happen at all and it’s a matter of public health for teens to learn about these important topics.

A new report, however, shows that less than half of all high schools (and a fifth of middle schools) in the U.S. teach all 16 of the recommended CDC sexual education topics. These items are chosen by the organization because they are deemed relevant to the age group and have risks most closely associated with adolescents.

These topics range from your basic “birds and the bees” sex talk to understanding the risks of STDs and learning proper safe sex practices.

While no parent likes to think that their teen son or daughter is sexually active, the numbers of teen pregnancies and new STD cases each year don’t lie. Roughly one quarter of HIV diagnoses and half of all STDs in the U.S. occur in young adults under the age of 25.

The information for this recent report was gathered from CDC’s 2014 School Health Profiles. Basically the survey determines what, if any, of the 16 recommended sex ed topics are being taught in school across the country.

Results of the study varied largely based on location. In the majority of states, there were less than half of the schools teaching all 16 topics and only three states that have over 75% of high schools teaching these (New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire).

When you look at the grand scheme of things, lack of sexual health education may be contributing to recent alarming statistics like the fact that teens are 4% less likely to use a condom today than they were 10 years ago.


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