WWU Students Seek to Answer ‘How Effective is Sex Education?’

Does sex education keep kids from having sex? That’s the question some William Woods University students have been researching all semester.

In a program next week, they plan to present their findings to interested parents. A speaker will offer creative tips on how to properly educate children on the risks of sex, STDs and pregnancy.

Their program, “Let’s Talk about Sex: Parents Educating their Children,” will be held at 7 p.m. April 10 in WWU’s Library Auditorium. The event is free and open to the community. Parents of teens and pre-teens are especially encouraged to attend.

Ellen D. Baker, education and outreach coordinator for Planned Parenthood in Kansas and Missouri, will be the featured speaker. Baker is a graduate from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been with Planned Parenthood since 2006. A question and answer session will follow her presentation.

The event is sponsored by the communications senior seminar class taught by Dr. Aimee Sapp, associate professor of communication arts.

Throughout the semester, students have been researching the effectiveness of sexual education and its impact on teens’ decisions to be sexually active. Members of the class will discuss their findings and present a short video clip of interviews they conducted with parents, teens, counselors, teachers and other professionals.

“I think it’s going to be an eye-opening experience for parents,” said Adrienne Hull of Jefferson City, Mo., event coordinator. “It’s natural for parents to dread ‘the talk,’ but we’re hoping this event will show why it’s necessary. We are offering some good advice on making it less awkward and how to create a lasting impact on their child in a world obsessed with sexuality.”

Parents will be given pamphlets covering the speaker’s main presentation points to use as a reference when they decide to have “the talk” with their children.

“The main thing we want to emphasize is that parents need to talk to their children about sex because what we’re currently doing at home and in the schools isn’t very effective,” said Hull.

Games and snacks will be provided for children in the EMC room, next to the Library Auditorium. The event is expected to last about an hour.

For more information, contact Hull at adrienne.hull@williamwoods.edu.