Comprehensive Sexual Education—A Prevention Strategy
By Amy S. D. Lee, MS, WHCRNP, Nurse Practitioner
I was interviewed the other day about drug-resistant gonorrhea—a topic I’ve written about here previously. The interviewer asked me what I thought could be done now that we are hearing that some strains of gonorrhea are developing resistance to most antibiotics.
I answered that I thought we had to focus on prevention—prevention that starts at an early age and continues throughout life. Such an early education campaign starts with a program called Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) for adolescents.
What is Comprehensive Sexual Education?
It is sexual education that encourages children to practice abstinence until marriage, but also provides adolescents with the information and instruction they need to engage in responsible sexual behavior at every phase of their lives. This means how to protect themselves from becoming pregnant or getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Young people must have accurate and sufficient information to make informed and responsible choices about their sexuality. Polls concerning CSE have shown that 72 percent of junior-high-school parents and 65 percent of high-school parents support CSE in the schools.
Although the American teen pregnancy rate has declined by one-third since the 1990s, it is still double that of Great Britain, 10 times Switzerland’s, and three times Canada’s.
Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy begins early and continues throughout a person’s life. Talk to your healthcare provider for further guidance on a Comprehensive Sexual Education program in your home and in your community.