sexual education Rhetorical Argument Analysis
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
sexual education Rhetorical Argument Analysis
Last Name 5
Amber Bowden Whitlock
Rhetorical Argument Analysis
In an editorial posted on the Salt Lake Tribune website entitled, “Utah students need real sex ed, not ‘Fight The
New Drug’,” by Natasha Helfer Parker, Kristin Hodson, Kristin Marie Bennion and Shannon Hickman, discusses
the incomprehensiveness and inaccuracies of the group known as Fight The New Drug (FTND). FTND is a
group that has been allowed to present their version of sexual education and their ideas against the viewing of
pornography to Utah schools, without the approval of either school board officials or parents. Being there is no
other sexual education provided to students in schools, the authors of this article are concerned about the
information being relayed to the students. They believe the information being given is false and only has
negative consequences. They wish to see a sexual education course employed that positively educates about
sexuality and human development. After reading the article, I would conclude that their argument is effective in what it is trying to accomplish.
The authors are licensed sex therapists who start by arguing that FTND is simply spewing about the negatives
of porn and bashing on any other aspect of sexuality. They assume their audience is for this ideology and are
most likely religious with their own moral disapprovals of porn and sexuality. They too are probably uninformed
about sexual education and what it can provide. Their readers are also most likely parents, teachers, and school
administrators. Due to this, their way of connecting to their audience is through a moral code. They use the
suggestion of an alternative saying, “Utah families deserve to be informed and given the skills and resources to
provide accurate, age-appropriate information around sexual health.” They stress on the wording of “deserve,” to
mean that is what they are entitled to morally. They also highlight how it will not be inappropriate things
discussed for their children, but rather things that pertain to their development. They also touch on the fact that
it is not solely up to schools to provide such information, but that parents can be informed to discuss with their
children what they deem appropriate. This effectively argues that it is not uninformed or biased information
that should be taught to students, but rather informed, beneficial resources for both students and their parents.
Adding to their effectiveness is their credibility. Countless times, they reference their credentials to speak on
this topic and criticize FTND members’ lack of. All four authors are licensed sex therapists along with being either clinical social workers or marriage and family therapists. They provide all of this information at the end
as well to fully showcase their credentials. With that, it allows readers to trust what they are saying. Readers can be assured that these authors are trained and schooled in the research of not only sexuality, but also
human development. They look at how sexual education effects students psychologically and emotionally as
well. They know what research has shown, how kids deal with issues, and truly what can be beneficial for their
growth. Readers see their credentials which makes them think this way in order to believe what they are saying.
Due to the FTND members assumed inexperience with mental health or sexuality counseling, readers see their
campaign as ineffective or negative, only helping the authors’ cause.
The authors also tap into pathos, trying to persuade readers emotionally. At one point in their article, they say,
“Many share the desire to help adolescents navigate today’s sexual landscape,” and continue by saying, “the type of sexual education they receive matters.” The first statement shows the importance of helping
adolescents learn about sexual education in a healthy way and puts the pressure on the readers to help them do this. The second sentence plays on the idea that the child matters, therefore, the education they receive
matters. It’s saying the students deserve this and you, as the reader, can help make this happen. This creates an
emotional tie that they must go out and do something to be proactive. They must save the children, in a sense.
It also shows that the authors care about adolescents’ well-being and that they are trying to inform others of
what is the right thing to do to maintain their well-being.
Lastly, the authors’ use of logos is also a contributing factor to the overall effectiveness of the article. Not only
do they bring up research and studies’ results, but also statistics of how audience member’s views have
misguidedly changed after a FTND presentation. The authors bring up studies that go against the FTND
campaign and what they are preaching. Since these studies’ results differ from what FTND is saying, it leads
readers to believe that FTND’s statements are false. This also touches on the moral code they are trying to
appeal to throughout the article, that FTND is therefore, instilling false pretenses for adolescents and not
receiving accurate information. The authors use their scientific evidence to disprove the other side’s alleged
In conclusion, the article is effective in its argument to readers. Though they do have slight flaws in their argument, as any argument would, the overall approach to adhere to the readers is effective. They employ moral reasoning and credibility through ethos, pathos, and logos. Their way of language also helps their
argument to be more convincing and impactful. They talk about an issue that effects parents, students, and
schools directly in a way that makes them want to reconsider the current actions being taken. They offer an alternative solution that could benefit everyone involved in order to create a curriculum better suited for
students learning about sexuality, health, and human development. They point out the negatives of the current
programs and redirect to where it should be headed to have positive outcomes.
Helfer Parker, Natasha; Hodson, Kristin; Bennion, Kristin Marie; Hickman, Shannon. “Utah
students need real sex ed, not ‘Fight The New Drug’.” The Salt Lake Tribune. 01 Oct. 2016. www.sltrib.com/opinion/4409139-155/op-ed-utah-students-need-real-sex.
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