Schools Are Failing Most schools aren't meeting the CDC's recommendations for teaching students about sex, and the curriculum is far worse in some states. The CDC offers 16 benchmarks that fall under four subject areas: The topic least likely to be covered in sex education, according to the report, is how to get and use condoms -- one of the CDC's major recommendations. This year's findings represent the norm for sex ed in America, according to Stephanie Zaza, director of adolescent and school health for the CDC.
Sign up now Sex education: Talking to your Sexual education about sex Sex education is offered in many schools, but don't count on classroom instruction alone. Sex education needs to happen at home, too.
Here's help talking to your teen about sex. By Mayo Clinic Staff Sex education basics may be covered in health class, but your teen might not hear — or understand — everything he or she needs to know to make tough choices about sex. That's where you come in.
Awkward as it may be, sex education is a parent's responsibility. By reinforcing and supplementing what your teen learns in school, you can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy sexuality.
Breaking the ice Sex is a staple subject of news, entertainment and advertising. It's often hard to avoid this ever-present topic. But when parents and teens need to talk, it's not always so easy. If you wait for the perfect moment, you might miss the best opportunities. Instead, think of sex education as an ongoing conversation.
Here are some ideas to help you get started — and keep the discussion going. When a TV program or music video raises issues about responsible sexual behavior, use it as a springboard for discussion.
Remember that everyday moments — such as riding in the car or putting away groceries — sometimes offer the best opportunities to talk. If you're uncomfortable, say so — but explain that it's important to keep talking.
If you don't know how to answer your teen's questions, offer to find the answers or look them up together. Clearly state your feelings about specific issues, such as oral sex and intercourse.
Present the risks objectively, including emotional pain, sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy. Explain that oral sex isn't a risk-free alternative to intercourse.
Consider your teen's point of view. Don't lecture your teen or rely on scare tactics to discourage sexual activity. Understand your teen's pressures, challenges and concerns.Sex education for teens includes abstinence, date rape, homosexuality and other tough topics.
Be prepared for questions like these: How will I know I'm ready for sex? Various factors — peer pressure, curiosity and loneliness, to name a few — steer some teenagers into early sexual activity. But there's no rush. Remind your teen that it's OK to wait.
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