The first article I found when researching Sexual Education and the Social Stigmas that surround Sex Ed., was a scholarly article released by The U.S. national Liberty of Medicine National Institute of Public Health. This specific article looks at the specific social stigmas that follows the Sexual Education topic as well as the way these stigmas came around and ways to break these stigmas. One main reason why sexual education is shied away from is because of the religious and social implications that people perceive come with the topic. Many health care officials stayed away from talking about Sexually Transmitted Disease because most religious folk demand celibacy and abstinence until marriage. Thus, the stigma was born that those who became infected with an STD were done so as a punishment from God for interacting in ungodly behaviors, specifically the “four H’s- Haitians, hemophiliacs, homosexuals and heroin addicts”. It was only believed that these diseases and AID’s only effected “the other”. This bore the idea that those in a monogamous relationship or those practicing sexually accepted behaviors could not contract these diseases. It created a sense of misleading sense of security that still persist today. Ways that this article looks at to break social stigmas is to create and open, nonjudgmental communication line between people and their health care providers. They also need to implement a comprehensive and general approach to teaching sexual education.
The second article I found when researching was a concrete example of how social stigmas surrounding sex and sexual education can have an astronomical effect on thousands of lives and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. The first case of AID’s was discovered in 1981 and it soon became obvious that this disease could lead to a national public epidemic. President Reagan was silent during this time because many of his supporters, financially and politically, had anti-homosexual rhetoric, thus the signs of the public health issue were ignored and the victims were harshly criticized and left for dead. The reasons why the victims were treated this way was because up until 1987, those who were infected were only gay men. Thus, the idea that people had about the disease was it was God’s punishment for being a homosexual. Many of President Reagan’s own advisors said that “they were getting what they deserved”. Money was not provided to help find a cure, research on the disease was stopped and the President ignored the people’s outcry for help. It wasn’t until the first woman got infected that people stated to realize that AID’s does not just effect gay men. President Reagan finally addressed the issued after the 58% of the 36,058 American people, who were diagnosed with the disease, had died. This naivety that surrounded the Reagan administration makes people think of how far along would AID’s research be today if the stigma surrounding the disease hadn’t blinded people. How many people could have been saved in the future if only research for the cure had started when the first case happened?
We plan on using both of these articles to explain the importance of a well-rounded sexual education for everyone and to illustrate the danger of social stigmas to society and public health.