Faculty Mentors

Dr. Scott Butler


There is much disagreement over what constitutes effective sex education in the United States. There are several reasons why America’s sex education system is outdated and problematic. First, it often advocates only for abstinence, which leaves people unprepared and unable to protect themselves if/when they choose to have sex, leading to higher rates of unintended pregnancies, abortions, and sexually transmitted infections in the U.S. than in any other developed nation in the world. In addition, the culture of fear surrounding sex education leads to negative attitudes among young people about sex. This can not only cause sexual dysfunction and strife in relationships, but also perpetuates the sex-negative view that personal sexual behavior is something to be controlled by a higher authority, be it parents of teenagers or government. Treating sex as something to be feared continues to fuel the American “sex panic,” whereas treating sex as a natural part of life would encourage people to make more responsible sexual choices in the first place. This paper will demonstrate how sex education in the United States has negatively impacted sexual health and health policy.



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