Fighting ignorance with knowledge

Many Animo Pat Brown students still giggle when the subject of sex comes up. Others smile in embarrassment.

Some students aren’t mature enough to listen while others just haven’t had “the talk.” Many traditional parents still refuse to even hint at the subject.

“They make jokes about it but they never seriously talk to me about having sex,” senior and Planned Parenthood Peer Advocate Kimberly Arenas said.

She said some parents might not talk about sex because they won’t want to know that their children are doing it.

There are other students though, who have no problem with their parents talking to them about sex. “They just told me to practice it safely and not to get carried away,” sophomore Benjamin Salazar said.

“I think it’s a generational thing,” said Peer Advocate coordinator Melissa Strype.  “We have to remember that a lot of times our parents generation, they weren’t given much information about sexual health  and so its much harder for  them to start those conversations.”

All parents have completely different reactions to the subject of sex, just like students have completely different perspectives about parents telling their teens about sex.

Some students think that parents not telling their children about sex is ridiculous.

“It’s stupid, I mean, they should just tell them before they go off and learn it from other people,” senior Jhasel Castillo said. Students should get perspectives from two different resources so that that way they aren’t limited on information, she said.

Kimberly had similar views to Jhasel.

“They’re going to find information else where that isn’t accurate,” Kimberly said.  That can also be a concern to parents who hesitate to talk about sex.

Talking about sex is important because of the dangers of STD’s and the act of having sex can change a teens life if they aren’t safe.

“It’s something teens experience and just like parents are able to talk to them about their friends or what not to wear, its important  to let them know about sex and safe sex, there’s bigger consequences to it,” office manager Tirsa Barbero said.

Sex and health education  has become another resource for students as well as parents to learn and inform themselves on the subject.

Planned Parenthood is a health care provider that has established itself in the Animo Pat Brown community. Planned Parenthood provides health and sex education for free. Interested APB students meet regularly on Friday afternoons with Peer Advocates that have gone through training to provide accurate information to their peers about safe sex and the different birth control methods available to them.

Planned Parenthood also provides an On Campus Clinic that is scheduled on certain days of the month for students to get free STD testing, condoms, pregnancy tests, and general information on health. The first free clinic is scheduled for October 17.

Students can also get free condoms from teachers at school: Jenny Wu, Catherine Perez, Hilda Ramos, Andrew Osterhaus, Leticia Reyes, Marissa Martinez, Alexis Hanson, and Stacey Harding. It’s a confidential program where students can trust the teachers and ask for condoms.

Overall, students do believe its important for parents to talk about sex and to keep teens informed.

“There’s no better way to have a connection with your kids then talking to them with things that are important.” Kimberly said.

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