Monopolies are not always run by private companies. They are not always monopolizing goods or services. Sometimes ideas are monopolized. Sometimes they are monopolized in places we trust. Because states in the U.S. are given the rights to decide most of their laws, some states choose to limit what can be taught in public schools. This is especially prevalent in how individual states choose to teach their students about sex. Some opt for an all encompassing or “comprehensive” sex education course. This requires schools to teach about four major areas of sexual health: Abstinence, Contraception, HIV/AIDS and other STDs, and Pregnancy. This makes sure information that students need is available to them, whatever they choose to do. Other states choose to teach through “Abstinence only” courses, where they are not allowed to teach students about any form of contraception or pregnancy/STD prevention. Those states are almost always found to have higher cases of STDs and pregnancy in teens aged 15-20. Abstinence only education puts a monopoly on the information a student can receive, using the excuse that if they don’t know about it, they won’t do it. Unfortunately, as the data shows us, that is simply just not the case. Illinois, which until recently had an abstinence only policy, had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country with 33 in every 1000 girls. Obviously, that system isn’t working. If it were, Illinois should have had one of the smallest rates in the country. States with that policy are working backward from the data, saying that if we follow their ideas, the data will change. Instead, we need to follow the data and change the ideas. Teens will have sex no matter what. It is the job of our schools to teach them about the dangers and risks involved, and how to keep themselves safe.
My infographic gives you the facts and an idea of what we need to change. I have also included a short list of some websites if you want to learn more about sex ed.
Learn about sex education!