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Why Does Sex Ed Matter?

According to the current working definition, sexual health is "…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled” (WHO, 2006a). 

Did you know that youth want to talk with parents about sex, relationships and sexual health? (Source: Hacker et al., 2001)

Below we have highlighted key statistics that illustrate the importance of whole life sexual health education. How we talk about and perceive sexual health growing up affects who we become as adults and, in turn, how we raise and teach our children. Together, we can change the conversation.

Image by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

01

Unprotected Sex

Teens who talk with a trusted adult about sex and protection are less likely to engage in early and/or unprotected sexual intercourse than are teens who haven't talked with a trusted adult (Miller et al, 1998). 

02

Childhood Sexual Abuse

1 out of 4 girls, and 1 out of 13 boys experience child sexual abuse.  Ninety-one percent of the time the perpetrator is someone familiar to the parent and child. Childhood sexual abuse is preventable.  Read more here.

A girl feeling sad
Image by Alexander Grey

03

LGBT Youth Suicide

The Trevor Project estimates that more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth (13-24) seriously consider suicide each year in the U.S. — and at least one attempts suicide every 45 seconds. Read more here.

04

Body Dysmorphia

Body Dysmorphic Disorder tends to occur during adolescence, the most common age of onset is 12 to 13 years. (Bjornsson et al., 2013).

Image by Alexander Krivitskiy
Image by charlesdeluvio

05

Pornography/Sexual Media

The average first pornography exposure is between 11 and 12 years old (Kraus & Rosenberg, 2014; Rothman, 2021).

Image by Lucas George Wendt

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