Hofstra, Let's Talk About It: What Do You Wish You Learned In Sex Ed?

In our society today, women are often told that they should not talk about sex. This can lead women to feel embarrassed or unsure of themselves when something unexpected happens. Through Hofstra, Let’s Talk About It, you will read real accounts from real college students. We are all going through the same experiences, why not talk about them?

Sex education in the United States is complicated. According to Planned Parenthood’s official website, many important topics such as birth control and LGBT+ identities are included in a curriculum on a state-by-state basis. Although some districts are implementing beneficial sex education programs, not everyone is following suit: only 18 states mandate educators to include birth control into their curriculum, while only 13 require that the information taught be medically accurate.

States and local governments have a lot more power in sex education than you would expect. In fact, seven states actually approved a law that prohibits sex educators from discussing LGBT+ relationships [this law is unfortunately still in effect. If you would like to learn more about it, click here].

Courtesy of Giphy

The sex education someone receives can greatly impact their future sex lives. Today, I asked Her Campus members: “What do you wish you learned in sex ed?”

“I wish I learned more about unhealthy relationships in sex ed.”

  • Julia, Junior

“Sex within the LGBT+ community and the concept of virginity in that realm.”

  • Katie, Sophomore

“More about the hymen”

  • Mallory, Sophomore

If you would like to learn more about the hymen and the complex definition of virginity, click here

“I learned abstinence-only education so I wish I learned about consent and other contraceptive options besides condoms.”

  • Laramie, Freshman

Courtesy of Giphy

“To learn that it’s okay that the topic of sex makes you uncomfortable, frightened, and nervous. I wish I learned more about what contraceptives are best if one decides to engage in sex, rather than constantly learning and being told not to have sex at all because of the diseases that can be contracted.”

  • Anonymous, Sophomore

“I wish they taught us to be more open about our sexuality.”

  • Sara, Senior

“That it's really hard to get pregnant on birth control [if taken regularly and correctly]. Also that it isn't bad to have sex if you're being safe, comfortable, and responsible.”

  • Gia, Junior

“That having sex isn't necessarily a bad thing if it's safe and consensual. It would've saved me a lot of emotional trauma leading up to my first time, knowing that having sex is okay. I also wish I had learned how to communicate with a sexual partner about sex. That was so hard to learn from experience.”

  • Madison, Sophomore

Courtesy of Giphy

“I wish I learned that different kinds of manipulation can be turned into forced consent.”

  • Olivia, Sophomore

“I wish we learned more about birth control and just contraception in general. It's something I've had to do a lot of research about on my own and I think it's something more women should know a lot about because it affects us in so many ways.”

  • Anonymous, Freshman

If you would like to learn about the different types of birth control, Planned Parenthood created a comprehensive list of all the options you can choose from.

“That abstinence was not the only way to have a sex life before marriage.”

  • Kim, Senior  

“How to put a condom on your s/o”

  • Tyler, Freshman

“How to achieve an orgasm for women and more about sex itself rather than preaching abstinence.”

  • Courtney, Junior

Courtesy of Giphy

“My school never actually went over the actual logistics or mechanics of having sex. There was never a class where they taught us how to put a condom on a banana or whatever. We learned about the body’s parts in biology and STDs in health. My school was pretty good at providing information about the LGBT+ community, but since there was no lesson about how sex actually happened, there was never any explanation of how people could have different definitions of sex or how sex could change based on your relationship. I also wish that there was a lesson on different types of birth control and how to access the nearest Planned Parenthood or what the facilities are for. So essentially, schools are lacking the things you need to know for when you plan to engage in sex and are instead scaring us away by only teaching us about STDs.”

  • Courtney, Sophomore

If you would like to find the closest Planned Parenthood location, click here

Rather than teaching students sex education that can greatly benefit them, some states and local districts are creating programs that prevent students from learning about important and relevant topics. Speaking out and sharing our sex ed experiences will begin the conversation that we as a society need to have.