Sexual education is crucial for everyone

By Katie Cressy

I believe knowledge is power. It’s especially important people know how to make healthy decisions for themselves and their bodies. The Center for Disease Control recently tweeted that condoms shouldn’t be washed and reused. It’s disheartening knowing not enough people have the tools or education to know what the right thing to do is.

I am a student leader for Planned Parenthood’s Generation Action student organization here at the University. Through my volunteering at Planned Parenthood, I found out only 13 states require students to have medically accurate sex education. Students are left to fend for themselves to find information about sex, and what they find might not be a reliable source. Teaching students about safe sex will help them lead healthy and happy lives.

The impact misinformation can have on young people can be massive. In high school, I’d hear myths about birth control; some kids thought birth control causes breast cancer or can lead to infertility or that the latex in condoms could provide an environment for diseases to spread easier.

I personally had a comprehensive sex education in elementary school, so it was easier for me to separate fact from fiction. However, some of my classmates took these myths as fact because they didn’t have comprehensive sex education at their elementary schools. This led many students to have unsafe sex because they were afraid of getting STDs if they used condoms or breast cancer if they took birth control.

The relationship we have with our bodies is an important one; we must know how to take care of ourselves. Knowing about our reproductive organs, how they work and how to make healthy decisions in our sex lives is just as important as knowing about the benefits of eating healthy and exercising.

Katie is a junior in LAS.