Currently, the United States has no standardized requirement for sex education. This has precipitated a large gap in knowledge about safe sex and a lack of consensus in current social and educational policy. Debates about abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education have reached a standstill. In an effort to advance the discussion, this paper reveals that the neuroscience behind adolescent sexual risk taking provides underutilized evidence for comprehensive sex education programs. Research shows that adolescents have biological differences in their brain structure that result in a decision-making process different from that of adults, one that can preference rash decisions and potentially unsafe behavior. Therefore, current approaches to social and education policy for teens should change, to reflect this research and in-school curricula should evolve to more effectively reduce rates of unsafe sexual behaviors. Funding for such programs would more than pay for themselves with the resulting decrease in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
"What Is "Safe Sex"? Understanding the Need for Sex Education Reform,"
Gettysburg Social Sciences Review: Vol. 3:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/gssr/vol3/iss2/4