Considering the theme of AASECT's recent Summer Institute — "Is Sex Good for Adolescence?" — the publication of a recent study on sex education for adolescents in Global Public Health: An International
Journal for Research, Policy and Practice seems especially fortuitous. The study, conducted out of Georgetown University, shows that in order to decrease unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, maternal deaths, and sexually transmitted diseases globally, we should start talking to boys and girls about their sexual and reproductive health as young as age 10.
This may seem like old news to AASECT members, sexuality professionals committed to educating those at all ages, but parents and educators continue to remain wary of introducing topics of sexual and reproductive health to adolescents, worried that it will encourage them to engage in sexual behavior they may not be ready for. This in the face of statistics that show the opposite is actually true.
The authors of the study — Susan M. Igras, Marjorie Macieira, Elaine Murphy, and Rebecka Lundgren — write that adolescents may be experimenting at younger ages but, because of a lack of sex education, and "because of their cognitive developmental stage, (they) are unlikely to correctly assess risks and consequences."
You can read more about this study here, or read the full article, "Investing in very young adolescents' sexual and reproductive health," here.