The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a list of 16 topics it says should be taught in high school sex education courses. The health bureau also recently found that less than half of U.S. high schools are properly teaching the topics.

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The topics include the importance of minimizing the number of sexual partners, how to use a condom, and how to find reliable information about sexual health. It also includes one clause on the benefits of abstinence.

In December, the CDC released data that indicated that not only are over half of American secondary schools failing their children, but also, so were four-fifths of middle schools.

Why should middle schoolers be taught about condom use?

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“What we recommend is covering all of these topics prior to becoming sexually active,” said Dr. Stephanie Zaza, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, in an interview with the Daily Beast. “We know that about 30 percent of teenagers are already sexually experienced in the 9th grade, which would suggest that reaching them really has to happen in the middle school years.”

Read the complete list of topics below via the AP:

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  • Benefits of being sexually abstinent.
  • How to access valid and reliable health information, products and services related to HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy.
  • Influences of family, peers, media, technology and other factors on sexual risk behavior.
  • Communication and negotiation skills related to eliminating or reducing risk for HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy.
  • Goal-setting and decision-making skills related to eliminating or reducing risks.
  • Influencing and supporting others to avoid or reduce sexual risk behaviors.
  • Importance of using condoms consistently and correctly.
  • Importance of using a condom at the same time as another form of contraception to prevent both STDs and pregnancy.
  • How to create and sustain healthy and respectful relationships.
  • Importance of limiting the number of sexual partners.
  • Preventive care that is necessary to maintain reproductive and sexual health.
  • How HIV and other STDs are transmitted.
  • Health consequences of HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy.
  • Effectiveness of condoms.
  • How to obtain condoms.
  • How to correctly use a condom.

Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

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