From Clutch — Starting this year, middle and high school students in New York City will be required to take Sex Education classes, a first in nearly two decades.

The classes, which is part of a larger initiative by the Bloomberg administration to improve the lives of Black and Latino youths, will cover everything from how to use a condom, the appropriate age for sexual activity, and sexually transmitted diseases. Because Black and Latino teens have higher unplanned pregnancy and STD rates then their White counterparts, many say this is exactly what the city needs.

“It’s obviously something that applies to all boys and all girls,” Linda I. Gibbs, the deputy mayor for health and human services, told the New York Times. “But when we look at the biggest disadvantages that kids in our city face, it is blacks and Latinos that are most affected by the consequences of early sexual behavior and unprotected sex.”

The classes will be taught to children in the 6th or 7th grade, and again in the 9th or 10th grade. Although some may worry that teaching kids about sex will prompt them to become sexually active, the most prevalent type of sex education, abstinence-only education, isn’t working either.

Parents who disagree with the curriculum will be able to opt-out of having their children learn about birth control options, but all students will learn about anatomy, puberty, pregnancy, and the risks of unprotected sex.

Although sex education may be scary to some adults, arming youth with the information needed to prevent pregnancy and possibly save their lives is as important as learning math or science.

What do you think about NYC’s new Sex Education requirement?

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  1. I had this back in middle and high school ten years ago in Ohio. I think psycho-social part of sex should be included.

    • @Ciara: Absolutely agree. Although its a little scary to realize my little sister, who is going into the 6th grade this year, is growing up I’ve had my own version of these talks with her already. Why? Because she wants to understand what she hears in the media and from peers and how she was created lol. And I would certainly prefer that she gets facts either from me or another educated adult than the former sources! But I am really hoping that schools provide a place (either support groups or class) where children can get some light shed on the emotional and psychological aspects of sexuality. Because sexuality is a complex part of being human and we can’t just address the nuts & bolts of it.

  2. so… who’s going to decide when the appropriate age for sexual activity is…?

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