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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever-changing landscape of health news.

There is Still a Need for Improvements to Sex Education

While the 90s hip hop duo Salt N Pepa may have wanted to talk about sex, baby...many parents have difficulty broaching the topic with their children.

So, how exactly did you learn about sex? Was it from your friend with an older sibling who would tell dirty jokes? Or maybe from that really scandalous TV show that your mom didn’t know you watched? Or was it from school?

Before 2010, abstinence only sex education was the only federally funded sex education program in the United States. The Guttmacher Institute's March 2016 report found that only 18 states and the District of Columbia require that information on contraception be provided in school's sex ed programs. Only four states have LGBTQ-inclusive sex education. And only thirteen states require that sex education be medically accurate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate of all developed nations, with approximately 250,00 babies being born to teens each year. In 2014, young people (aged 13-24) accounted for an estimated 22% of all new HIV cases and half of the nearly 20 million new STD cases reported in the United States. These statistics suggest the need for continued improvements in sex education...and for parents to talk about sex.

Content for this segment was created by Hunter Urhahn as part of a project for SC301: Foundations of Health Communication, taught by Ms. Clubbs

Fund, P. P. A. (2016). Sex education. Retrieved June 27, 2016, from
Sex and HIV Education. (2016, March 01). Retrieved June 27, 2016, from Guttmacher Institute, State Policies In Brief, https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/spibs/spib_SE.pdf

Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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