Sex education is a broad term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, and other aspects of human sexual behavior.
Although some form of sex education is part of the curriculum at many schools, it remains a controversial issue in several countries, particularly with regard to the age at which children should start receiving such education, the amount of detail which is revealed, and topics dealing with human sexuality and behavior (eg. safe sex practices and masturbation, and sexual ethics).
In the United States in particular, sex education raises much contentious debate.
Chief among controversial points is whether covering child sexuality is valuable or detrimental; the use of birth control such as condoms and oral contraceptives; and the impact of such use on pregnancy outside marriage, teenage pregnancy, and the transmission of STDs.
Increasing support for abstinence only sex education by conservative groups has been one the primary cause of this controversy.
Countries with more conservative attitudes towards sex education (including the UK and the U.S.) have a higher incidence of STDs and teenage pregnancy.