1. Parenting

Sex Education in Schools

What is Your Teen Taught about Sex at School?

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As a parent, you need to be fully aware of what your teen is taught about sex at school for two reasons: One, you want to be sure that the information is complete, accurate and reflects your family's values. Two, you want to be sure that you are prepared to answer questions your teen may have.

Today, there are two different types of sex education classes. Depending on what your state or local school district mandates, your teen will either be learning the Comprehensive Sexuality Education or the Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Program. These programs represent two completely different schools of thought, but either way, it is imperative for you to know what your child is learning. You will need to do your best not to get caught up in the politics of the sex education classes as much as be the buffer or the fill-in person for your teenager.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education is a program that starts in kindergarten and continues through high school. It brings up age appropriate sexuality topics and covers the broad spectrum of sex education, including safe sex, STDs, contraceptives, masturbation, body image, and more. If this is the type of sex education your teen is receiving at school there may be times that you need to buffer some of the information, as it may have come sooner than your teenager needed it.

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs emphasize abstinence from all sexual behaviors and do not cover information on contraceptives, STDs, masturbation, etc. If this is the sexual education program your teenager is in, you will need to be prepared to teach your teenager about these topics. You will need to be prepared to be the person who fills them in on the information.

Typically, most schools fall in the middle of the two types of programs. Either way, you will need to know what your teenager is being - or is not being - taught about sex and their sexuality. Then you can be prepared for their questions with the correct answers, and not leave it to their friends or the media to educate them.

Never be afraid of what your teen is learning in school about sex education. While schools cannot begin to teach about sexuality in a way that includes your family values along with everyone else's family values, they can teach the basics of physical sex and then you can inform your teen of your family values. This will give your teen a base, a foundation in which the form questions and have conversation with you. They will bring examples from class they you may not agree with,they may share things that their peers of said. This is good! This is open communication with your teen. Don't get too uncomfortable, because it's time to talk to them. Share your views, share your thoughts and allow them to make their own decisions from there.

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