Todays Class….Sex Ed
Mar 2012 15

Sex Education is always a hot topic. Michigan, like many other states, use abstinence- based sex education to teach middle and high school students about sexual health. MDHC’s Michigan Abstinence Program (MAP) gives guidelines of sex education, the objective, and the ultimate goal of the implementation of the program.

If you could create a sexual health program for your community…what would it look like?

I’ll wait while you brainstorm….

Okay, now that you have thought through it a little, here’s the goal and a little snippet of the guidelines and objectives for MAP*:

Goal:
To increase the number of youth ages 12-18 (up to 21 years for special education populations) who abstain from sexual activity and other related risky behaviors.

Priority needs:

  • To teach youth the decision-making skills necessary to choose abstinence, reject sexual advances, cope with social pressures, avoid risky situations and understand the relationship of alcohol and other drug use to increasing sexual vulnerability
  • To support communities in developing and maintaining social environments that support sex-free and drug-free lives for youth;
  • To teach parents/adults/caregivers how to communicate effectively with youth about the importance and benefits of choosing abstinence from sexual activity and other related risky behaviors such as the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Are the needs of MAP the same guidelines and needs that you would want for the community? What would you add or take away from this list?

Federal abstinence guidelines:

  • Teach abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school-age children;
  • Teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems;
  • Teach that a mutually faithful, monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of sexual activity;
  • Teach that sexual activity outside the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects;

What do you think about the MAP program? Where does comprehensive sex education fit into this program? And do you think methods of contraception should be taught to youth ages 12 to 18 years of age? Why or Why not?

*Note: for the complete outline of the guidelines and objectives please see the Michigan Department of Community Health website.

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