How Can We Remain Silent About Puberty?

How can we remain silent about puberty? Read part 1 of this two-part blog. Then read this blog for part 2.

Young people are being harmed:

  • Only 40 percent of teen moms finish high school, and less than 2 percent finish college by age 30.[1]
  • Nearly half (48%) of 7th to 12th graders have experienced sexual harassment in school. The large majority (87%) said the sexual harassment had a negative effect on them.[2]
  • One in four girls and one in seven boys have been sexually abused by age 18.[3]
  • One in four girls and one in seven boys has experienced dating violence by age 18.[4]
  • Intimate sexual behavior is the primary mode of transmission of HIV infection.[5]
  • Although teens and young adults represent only 25% of the sexually active population, 15- to 24-year-olds account for nearly half of all STI diagnoses each year.[6]

Sexuality is an integral part of each person’s makeup. Yet these statistics illustrate many ways young people can experience negative consequences if they aren’t equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy choices, form healthy habits, and protect themselves. Effective sex education is much more than a one- or two-hour lesson on reproductive anatomy. It teaches skills, such as communication, decision-making, and how to develop healthy relationships. These lessons take more time to implement, but they increase the likelihood that our young people will develop into sexually healthy adults.

Be Part of the Solution

Effective sex education begins early and is delivered in partnership between schools and families. Puberty: The Wonder Years provides lessons for grades 4, 5, and 6. These lessons include family engagement activities that encourage family discussions about values and expectations. Our young people deserve better sex education than most adults received. Are your local schools implementing the curriculum?

Sign up to receive a FREE sample lesson to see what Puberty: The Wonder Years is all about.Download free sample puberty curriculum lesson

  1. Why It Matters: Teen Pregnancy. Power to Decide
  2. Crossing the line: Sexual harassment at school. American Association of University Women, 2011
  3. Statistics About Sexual Violence. National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 2015
  4. Preventing Teen Dating Violence. CDC
  5. HIV Transmission. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019
  6. Adolescent Development and STDs. OAH; Information for Teens: Staying Healthy and Preventing STDs. CDC

Updated 2019-10-12