Where did you learn about the birds and the bees? Did they mention that the United States has one of the highest teen birth rates in developed countries? Or that a sexually transmitted disease can lead to long-term urinary tract problems?

Some worry that these facts may be unsuitable for middle-school-aged students, but sexual health is a critical part of an individual’s life. If individuals are not taught proper sex education in their youth, the lack of knowledge can lead to serious consequences in their future.

Switzerland has less than four births for every 1,000 teenagers, one-fourth of the United States’ teen birth rate. Why? Switzerland’s long-established sex education program begins in primary school. Most people in that country view sex ed as a necessary part of their children’s upbringing, supporting the programs in almost every public school in Switzerland.

This is not an unusual process. The Netherlands has a similar practice for their sex education, which contributes to their consistently low teen birth rate.

Following the example of these countries will show an increase in healthier and happier sex lives, as well as a decrease in the number of children raised in poverty. There is a direct correlation between teen pregnancy and poverty levels, because having a child without preparations can cause extreme financial crisis.

Naomi Campbell, St. George