Why Sex Education Is Important

Ok, no one is denying that it is often times really awkward to ask adults; especially of the parent-kind, questions about sex and your body! However, it is vitally important for teens to get accurate sex ed information so that you don’t end up with an unplanned pregnancy or STI like Chlamydia, Herpes, Gonorrhea or HIV/AIDS. Not knowing what internet sites are to be trusted to provide medically accurate information could have you believing your best friend when he tells you that your girlfriend could be infected with an STD known as Blue Waffle disease! (CAUTION: Blue Waffle disease IS NOT REAL!) So, please, DO NOT believe everything you read or hear from your friends or see on TV or Google. Sex education is important enough to invest time and effort in these discussions.

Instead, take the plunge into that vast pool of icy cold water known as “the talk” with your parents, guardian or trusted adult. After all, in survey after survey teens (that’s YOU!) say parents most influence your decisions about sex; not peers, not partners, not popular culture. Besides, if you have ever jumped in to a pool of icy cold water, you know it isn’t so bad once you get used to it. Talking to your parents about sex, relationships and your body actually has been proven to delay sexual activity, reduce the number of your sexual partners and increase the likelihood that you will use contraception more consistently. If those reasons aren’t motivation enough to get you to take the plunge then consider these tips and ease on in to the shallow end and at least get your toes wet.

Tips for Talking To An Askable Adult

  • Let PREP be your guide and an “Are You Smarter Than an Xth Grader” or “Would You Rather” kind of mindset be your motivation to get the conversation started. Quiz your parents after a PREP lesson to see if they know which birth control method is most effective. Or after a lesson on which STD’s are curable and which ones aren’t, quiz an adult with “Would you rather have Herpes or Genital Warts?” Don’t forget to ask “Why?”!
  • Ask your parents or maybe an older sibling to help you practice resistance skills you learned in class before going to a party where you might be faced with someone tempting you with offers of cigarettes, alcohol, weed or sexual activity that you really don’t want to engage in. You could ask them, ‘what would you say or do if this happened to you?’ and then fill in the blanks when they forget any of the steps for Drawing Their Line.
  • Use a scene on TV (16 & Pregnant, perhaps?) or in a movie to ask what your parents (or chosen trusted adult) thinks is important in a relationship or when they think is the right time to start a family.
  • Share something a friend or classmate is experiencing or experimenting with as a way to discuss your parent’s thoughts, feelings and family or religious values on the topic.
  • Use websites like StayTeen.org or BeforePlay.org or text ICYC (In Case Your Curious) to 57890 in Colorado and look up answers to questions together. Think of how grown up and responsible you will look and sound when YOU know the places to go for reliable information when the adults you’re talking to don’t know all the answers. (News Flash – they won’t know all the answers!)

Did you know? Among young adults age 18-24, 69% say it’s acceptable for someone their age to be a virgin. Of those 15–19 year-olds who have had sex, 55% say they wish they had waited longer.

“It was an interesting break from my normal presentations and duties. Our youth are indeed amazing we just need to stop and listen on occasion. I gained more than I gave with this encounter.

Even though I spent most of my adult life in business, my degree is in Education, it’s always nice to interface with our youth.”

Walt StoweGarfield County Sheriff’s Office - Community Relations Deputy/PIO

PREP Summer Intern Program

Have you ever heard a young person exclaim, “There’s nothing to do! I’m bored.”?  Summers are a perfect time to prove them wrong AND give them something to do that has purpose and meaning! PREP hires summer interns and finds opportunities for them to engage in their communities through as many area events and festivals as we can.

By partnering with agencies and businesses, PREP is able to pay interns to ‘volunteer’ for others while representing PREP at the same time. Youth are encouraged to talk openly about the importance of having comprehensive sex education during conversations they have with attendees. While this is important work, it’s also just as important that they have FUN and show their community that they can be willing, active participants with something to offer.  Maybe, just maybe, the interns will discover a ‘spark’ that will ignite their passions for future generations.

We look forward to getting more youth involved in ways that connect them to their community, teach them some life skills, and shine a light on this valuable resource we have right here in our valley. If you know of any youth who may be interested or know of an event that needs little worker-bees, please contact PREP at garfieldcountyprep@gmail.com.