SEX EDUCATION: A COMPARISON OF ARIZONAN AND DUTCH MODELS AND HEALTH OUTCOMES
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractMany young people go without the sex education that they need in order to lead healthy lives. In Arizona, schools are not required to teach sex education at all, and those that do must stress abstinence ("Arizona State Profile Fiscal Year 2014", 2014). The Netherlands, on the other hand, takes a comprehensive approach that covers emotions, human development, sexual orientation, contraceptives, and much more (de Melker, 2015). The implications of neglecting to provide comprehensive sex education include high costs, teen pregnancy rates, and STI rates. In 2004, $252 million in Arizona was used to cover the costs of teen pregnancies (“Sex Education”, 2016). The teen birth rate in Arizona was 12 times higher than in the Netherlands in 2007 (“Adolescent Fertility Rate”, 2016) and (“Teenage Pregnancy, 2003-2013”, 2016). Also, Arizona’s STI incidence rates in 2007 were 9 times higher for chlamydia, 11 times higher for gonorrhea, and 3 times higher for syphilis ("Reportable STDs in Young People 15-24 Years of Age, by State", 2016) and (“STI Display Tool”, 2016). These costs and health outcomes show that comprehensive, not abstinence-only, sex education is the model that we should implement in Arizona.