End shame regarding sex: stigma does more harm than good

Dayanara Miranda, Opinion Editor

As teenagers grow and their hormones accelerate at a rapid pace, one of the major aspects that grows into their physical and mental health is the topic of sex.
The topic of sex and the overall definition of it is taught to students in the 5th grade, and specific effects and consequences are taught within high school health classes.
But that’s the issue, only consequences are being presented in sex education classes: STD’S, getting pregnant, and some of the risky emotional factors before and after sex.
Of course, teachers are not in the position to encourage sexual acts, as it really can result in the consequences stated above, but when teachers are just supposed to “present information” and not give their opinion, under all of the explaining they can come across as biased, and while enforcing just abstinence, they may be putting down those who do choose to have sex.
But teenagers who do have sex should not allow others to make them feel ashamed of their choices. According to planned parenthood, a study showed that “Virtually all sexually experienced teens (more than 99%) have used some form of birth control”.
This statistic supports the idea that teenagers are becoming responsible towards the actions they undertake and they are well aware of what they are doing.
If being told constantly to a young adult, “sex is bad”, “Don’t do it”, “You’re a slut if you do it” they either A: feel ashamed of doing it or B: Become afraid of something that is totally normal in someone’s personal life.
Becoming ashamed in general is an unbearable feeling and it can have results in having insecurities, guilt, depression, and in being disgusted in ones’ self. Exploring sexual desires and making choices that regards their bodies is only between that one person and the person they are doing it with. No one should have the right to say that they should or should not be doing it, because it is a matter of personal choice.
Certain religious and family values taught to teenagers can affect how they feel when deciding whether or not to participate in sexual acts.
According to Psychology Today, many therapists have clients coming in regarding how their families have impacted their curiosity towards sex, and how they have taught them to never have sex until marriage and that they will learn about it once they are married.
Not becoming well educated in sex and destroying one’s self worth with constant shame results in overall issues with later relationships, as they are only thinking about their parents who teach them these values to follow God’s laws. But in some cases where these ideas are presented forcefully, the fear of even hearing the word “sex” results.
I am not encouraging sex, since a majority of the time, especially in high schoolers, it can be a life changing experience that can be confusing, resulting in emotional turmoil and distracting from other important factors such as school, sports, clubs, and more.
Sex can wait, as it is more for mature relationships, and one should restrain from having it if they are not comfortable, if their partner is forcing them, or if they are choosing to wait until marriage.
Choosing to wait until marriage or for the “special person” is perfectly fine as well, and they should not be letting those who are not waiting to pressure them or let them feel ashamed for waiting. Either choice is fine and shaming one another for either oneis wrong and should be stopped.
But those who are doing it, should not feel ashamed by others who do not agree with their personal choices. It is their body and their choice, and it is a personal business between them and their partner.