Sex education is commonly taught in high school health classes or guidance programs. Education on sexuality is controversial because some parents and educators believe it's up to parents to teach kids on this subject. Additionally, debate centers on the approach to teaching, such as abstinence-only or preventative, health-centered coaching. Despite criticisms, some positive effects are often noted.

STD Awareness

Sex-ed programs often include significant coverage of various types of sexually transmitted diseases. For many students, this is the first time they go through a thorough review of causes and results of STDs. Regardless of the overall teaching philosophy, STD awareness can either help motivate student abstinence or at least cause them to take precautions when engaging in sexual behavior to prevent diseases.

Reduced Sexual Activity

For people who believe that teenagers should not be sexually active, data compiled by the Advocates for Youth organization revealed positive news. In a 2009 compilation of studies, the organization shows that 40 percent of participants in high school sex-education programs either delayed sex or had fewer partners. Additionally, 30 percent noted that while they engaged in sexual activity, they either reduced frequency or stopped after their experience in a program.

Better Protection

High school students that continued or intended to continue sexual activity at least seem to get the message that protection is important. The Advocates for Youth site also indicated that 60 percent of sex-education program participants stopped or reduced the amount of unprotected sex they were having. Many sex-ed programs include discussion of various types of contraception used to prevent STDs and lower pregnancy risks.

Reduced Pregnancies

Teen pregnancy is a major concern in high schools and homes across America. A correlation often exists between the amount of education and the rate of teen pregnancy. A study from the National Survey of Family Growth showed that students are half as likely to get pregnant between the ages of 15 and 19 after going through a sex-education class. The Advocates for Youth site pointed out that programs that teach prevention techniques tend to have the most success in this area.