The heated topic of sexual education

Patrick O'Connell, Editor-in-Chief

Sex Education has long been a heated topic in the United States and in Illinois. Currently, Illinois does not require Sex Ed, but many students, parents, politicians, and teachers feel that this should change, and they have much evidence to back them up.

As of 2014, only 21 states require Sex Ed. These 21 states tend to have a lower rate of teenage pregnancy compared to Illinois and other states where Sex Ed is not required. For every 1000 girls aged 15-19 in Illinois, 29.5 will get pregnant. But in New Jersey, where Sex Ed is required, for every 1000 girls, only 18.7 girls will get pregnant according to the Office of Adolescent Health. Other states that require Sex Ed includes Maine whose pregnancy rate is 20.8 for every 1000 teenage girls and Vermont whose pregnancy rate is 16.8 for 1000 teenage girls.

About 1 in every 4 teenagers will contract an STD in the US according to However, this rate tends to be lower in states where Sex Ed is required.

Other arguments supporting Sex Ed include the fact that between 1991 and 2011, the teenage pregnancy rate fell by 54% according to the Office of Adolescent Health. Many attribute this to the increased amount of sexual education over the years. Because of this, many students, politicians, and teachers feel Sex Ed should be required.

The main argument against required Sex Ed is that sexual education will promote sex amongst teenagers and will therefore increase the amount of teenage pregnancies and the spread of STDs. However, statistics have shown that Sex Ed has lead to a decrease in teenage pregnancy.

“Having an education about sex has really helped me because my parents couldn’t teach me and it’s useful information,” said senior Skylar Chism. By requiring Sex Ed, Illinois can reduce the amount of teen pregnancies and the spread of STDs among teens.