It Starts With You

Where does sexual education start? We begin to see the first instances around sixth grade when boys learn about their body odor, and girls learn about their periods. Next, we see some education through middle school about different sexual organs and their functions. Then in high school, students receive health education and may receive one chapter on sexual health. For the most part this consists of the teacher drilling “abstinence” into the students minds and very little else. College is the first time any actual training of sexual education takes place. 


One online course may be required each year to attend the college. This not only is a joke to most students but those that are not privileged enough to have access to higher education, rarely receive any training what so ever. We wait until the absolute last moment, and in most cases, this is way too late. By this time most students have come up with their opinions and ideas on different matters, one online course is not going to change it. 


We need to push for the idea of sexual education starting much younger. This would not mean that they have to discuss sexual acts but more consensual thinking. We need to push for schools to speak about consent at younger ages. In a non-sexual connotation, we may start asking kids to ask permission before holding hands, hugging, etc. This will hopefully start the snowball effect later down the road in people’s romantic relationships. 


If we can start consent in all aspects of our life it should become normalized within our sexual lives. If we ask for consent before we do things such as give a hug, hold a hand, etc. any physical touch should then come with consent before it happens. 


Right now, our generation has the responsibility to teach our children what we, clearly did not learn. We have the chance to change things with a simple fix, and the fix is respect. We need to hold each other accountable to be respectful. We need to hold our friends, family, classmates, teammates, fraternity brothers, sorority sisters, etc. accountable for their actions. 


If the younger generations start to see the change, they will follow suit. The change starts with you.