Article by Danielle Germain.
Having gone to Catholic schools my entire life, the only sex education we were taught was abstinence until marriage unless you wanted to go to hell. If that sounds really extreme to you too, then we are on the same page. There was never any separation between church and state when it came to sex-ed at my school. The class was called “Family Life” and my sex-ed teacher also doubled as the religion teacher. Needless to say, I didn’t receive the comprehensive sex education that I probably should have.
Luckily, my mom worked for a gynecologist, so she quickly became my resident sex-ed teacher. Having an open and honest relationship with my mom regarding all sex related topics from periods, to condoms, to birth control, and STDs, enabled me to make smart decisions as I entered high school.
Recently, new sex-ed classes have been garnering a lot of media attention because they are finally discussing important topics like condoms and abstinence while mentioning the equally important topic of pleasure. I was so happy when I read that sex-ed classes would include a broad range of topics, instead of using scare tactics to prevent teens from having sex.
This is definitely an unorthodox way of informing young teenagers about sex, but that’s why it is so progressive. By being more honest about the entire topic of sex, teens will be much more comfortable talking to their parents and future partners. For example, the female orgasm is something that many couples argue about because both sides are misinformed. The guy thinks his girlfriend isn’t turned on, so his ego gets bruised, and the girl internalizes this and then feels guilty for upsetting her boyfriend. But, if this were a topic taught in school, obviously with scientific data and studies used as support, then both boys and girls would be more knowledgeable about it.
There are numerous other topics worth mentioning when discussing sex to curious, hormonal teenagers, such as condoms, abortion, AIDS and other STDs, teenage pregnancy and oral sex. The curriculum should not seem daunting and scary, but informative and helpful because the bottom line is that teenagers aren’t going to stop having sex, but they can become more informed about the costs and benefits of doing “it.”
Photo credit: violet.blue/Flickr