Wausau (WAOW) - Thirty-four percent of Wisconsin state high school students reported to having sex in 2017 compared to the 47 percent in 1993, yet the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in teens is rising.
STD rates in teens are up 8 percent in Wisconsin from the 9,024 cases reported in 2016, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Sexually charged television shows are adding to the stigma of teens feeling pressured to have sex.
Wisconsin law requires schools to place abstinence education first before teaching sexual health education.
"We need to educate kids that there is a viable option that is in their best interest to not have sexual activity and to not have sex outside the bounds of marriage," said Julaine Appling the president of The Wisconsin Family Action.
The nonprofit organization is dedicated to preserve family life.
"Planned Parenthood rushes in and says everybody's going to have sex and offer condoms," Appling said. "What they send is a message that you don't have an alternative you are going to be subjected to your hormones."
While Appling argues that abstinence is the way to go in order to prevent rates of STDs in teens to go up, some experts believe safe sex education and providing condoms is the correct measure to take.
"There has been a nationwide increase in STDs due to lack of condom use," said April Waraksa, of the Healthfirst clinic in Wausau. "Abstinence-only programs do not educate children on how to protect themselves."
Our Wausau affiliate WAOW News 9 spoke to one parent who did not want to be identified on her thoughts of having sexual health talks with her kids.
"I think that education is incredibly important, and I think what's most important is a open forum between a child and a parent," she said.
The parent also told News 9 her conservative family did not have a sex talk with her while she was growing up and she want to do things differently for her child.