This infographic collects a lot of important data about teen sexuality and sex education in the US. We absolutely need comprehensive sex ed, and this image includes a lot of evidence why. Part of that is the high rate of unintended pregnancies among teens. But this entire image is framed around preventing teens from getting pregnant, and I can’t get on board with that. I can’t get on board with sex ed that’s about policing other people’s sexual and reproductive decisions. Offering them information so they can make more informed choices? That’s rad. Sex is a part of life, as much as some folks would like to pretend otherwise. So it’s worth being informed about, just like everything else we do. Sex ed is important so folks can actually know what they’re making decisions about. But it shouldn’t be another way to police young folks.
I get that we have to make practical, numbers based arguments to win policy. But they should back up our actual beliefs. There are a ton of reasons sex ed is great, and they can be framed around why there are a ton of positive outcomes when people are informed. We don’t need to make the argument in a way that seems designed to shame pregnant and parenting teens.
The reproductive health, rights, and justice field really needs to stop making its arguments in ways that undermine its cause.
But this is some great data! (Infographic after the jump)
h/t Shelby Knox