The Real Problem in our Bedrooms - Sex Education

This topic is something I am very passionate about and it is really important to me that we make changes to benefit the upcoming generations. I hope you take some time to read this piece. <3

Ways To Love Your Vagina Adebusola Abujade / Her Campus Media

When I told my mother I was going to be writing an article about sex she got nervous. I tried to reassure her it wasn’t going to be graphic or dirty; it was just about sex education in schools. It made me start to get nervous too, about how to write it, word it, approach it, etc. I started to tell myself that’s gross, too much information, and I should just keep my opinions to myself.

But this is the exact thinking that leads to problems. This is the exact thinking that leads to why we are so under educated as young adults about sex.

Let me begin bluntly:

Sex education in school is horrible. We all know it; we all know why; we all wish it was different.

Sex education is a class taught with the bare minimum of useful information. However, it does teach you about the human body and somewhat about the basics of sexual intercourse.

 

There’s just one problem…the bare minimum is unsafe.

 

empty classroom Photo by Feliphe Schiarolli from Unsplash

Sex education needs to be carried on through middle school AND high school as well.

The basic knowledge and scientific information are fine to start out with at a middle school grade level; but as kids get older, as kids go through puberty, and as kids become teenagers (which means relationships start forming), there needs to be more range of teaching. This information should not be to necessarily encourage sex but when it happens it will be safe, consensual, and hopefully less awkward.

 

Sex is a natural act. Sex is a natural part of life. So, we should talk about it and treat it as such.

In school, sex is talked about like it isn’t real in a way. It’s treated like it is a foreign entity, as if it is not apart of our lives. However, sex is a large part of attraction, mating, and the main aspect of reproduction.

 

In my experience, sex education…better known as a one/two-unit section of health class focused on the human body, the basics of how sexual reproduction happens, and babies, didn’t do me much good.

 It also focused very heavily on men. When talking about the female reproductive system we were handed a coloring sheet…are we serious? But, when we were talking about the male reproductive system we went more in depth, we watched school videos, looked at textbooks, took notes, and were told about multiple warning signs that could signal that something was wrong in a man’s reproductive system. It would have been nice to know when to know if something was wrong with MY reproductive system as well. We even touched on male masturbation and pleasure, but when it came to girls these concepts were a forbidden topic.

These types of practices also lead men to be much more confident and even demanding of sex. Men are more likely than women to lose their virginity at a younger age, more likely to have sex with someone they just met, more likely to have had more than four sexual partners in high school alone, and in the most dangerous situations this thinking can lead to substance abuse before intercourse, rape, and possibly unwanted/forced pregnancy.

Another topic NEVER spoken about is homosexual relationships, as well as sexual interactions between homosexual individuals – LQBTQ+ individuals deserve to feel safe, prepared, and confidence in their sexual experiences as well.

Each person is going to do what they want to do, it’s human nature, however, I believe that at the very least being given proper information could help minimize these issues.

woman wearing black lingerie holding pink pillow freestocks/Unsplash

Also, another thing I’ve noticed is since the act of sexual intercourse itself isn’t talked about in middle, or more importantly, high school that this leads to a high amount of unsafe sex practices. Basically - kids don’t know what to do.

As well as the fact that most teenagers don’t start off with intercourse, masturbation is the base level and then oral sex is generally a gateway. Oral sex is not spoken about but happens at a more frequent rate and that to me is a dangerous and stupid game to be playing.

 I can understand how teachers and parents might not want to think about their child/students having sex. I also understand that they don’t want to necessarily encourage them that having sex with whoever, whenever, is okay. It isn’t. But knowledge is the most powerful tool we have, and I really wish I had more knowledge about my own body as well as how to navigate this complicated concept more fluidly.

 

laptop open to Google search bar Photo by Benjamin Dada from Unsplash

My other main issue with the fact that sex education is not really effective as a class is that when adolescence/young adults don’t know how to do something they want to do…they turn to the internet. Now, the internet is a fine place to gather information, however, it is also uncensored, unchecked, and when It comes to topics surrounding sex the internet (unless a scientific source) is not real life.

Let me explain.

When teenagers want to have sex, any type of sexual interaction, and they don’t know enough they google it.

 

According to Esquire some of the most popular google searches about sex are:

 

- How old do you have to be to buy condoms?

- How long is sex supposed to last?

- Where is the G-spot?

- How do I know if I had an orgasm?

- How do I make a women orgasm?

- How do I get tested for a sexually transmitted disease?

- What should I do if I get herpes?

- I think I might be pregnant

- How to insert a male organ into a female organ

- How do I make my penis bigger? (male searches are 80% of the time related to their own penis)

 

Some of these questions are true acts of desperation due to lack of understanding.

Sad woman with smudged mascara holding a fake smile Photo by Sydney Sims from Unsplash

 

Another thing that is a large proponent of unsafe sexual practices is the darker part of internet searches. When teenagers still don’t get the information they crave, they turn to a more stimulating form of learning- living demonstration. These are things like pornography and erotic movies.

What is sad about this is that porn is almost always staged = not really how sexual interaction plays out, which gives young adults (and even younger) ideas that can be dangerous and harmful to themselves/their partner(s). Movies such as Fifty Shades of Grey, which is not a bad film, but a bad example for those new to sexual practices. When teens watch these videos, it is often very hardcore - not the starting point. Fifty Shades of Grey for example, is a movie that sexualized and idolizes male dominance, submissive control of a women, BDSM, and sex practices that involve pain. This is not what someone’s son or daughter should go into their first sexual experience thinking it is the gold standard.

 

student studying for school Photo by Green Chameleon from Unsplash

The bottom line is that sex education needs to be what it says – education about sex. It needs to be a level program for both men and women. It should exhibit a wider range of education so that teens have the tools to be safe, smart, and knowledgeable when going into a sexual interaction. They need to be prepared and equipped to know what is right or not.

So many young people go into these sexual situations unaware, scared, confused, awkward, and embarrassed. This is not to say we don’t figure it out…we do because we have to. But, the road to get there is often wobbly, cracked, confusing, and sometimes treacherous.

 

There is a small caveat – I do think that there are some aspects of sexual interaction that are supposed to be figured out, unknown, and exploratory. There is no right way to have sex, but I do think there is more important information that should be given to people now before they begin to go down that rabbit hole.

(Also a quick tip – try to keep communication about sex open and honest with your parents, it may seem hard or scary or weird but it is beneficial and can help

silhouette of man and woman kissing at sunset Photo by Annette Sousa from Unsplash

I know this was kind of a rant, but it is a super important part of the education of young adults and it is so underrepresented in our schooling. The same way we aren’t taught how to manage money or how to do taxes or how to actually vote. These are things that must be improved, and sex education is honestly a joke – but one that is not funny.

To learn more about sex education reform and comprehensive quality sex education in school please check out this website! You can also sign their petition if you want to. However, I wanted to provide this more for education and information.

https://www.change.org/p/department-of-education-comprehensive-sex-education-is-a-basic-human-right-that-all-students-deserve-to-learn

Health Vagina Sex Periods Std Feminism Molly Longest / Her Campus

I hope you enjoyed this article/rant of the inadequacy of sex education in schools and that maybe it will encourage you to think on it, start a conversation about it, and look into it. Nothing ever changes without our voices and without us. This is such a crucial topic for young adults in our society today and I feel like without knowing about the problems they only get worse.

 

Until next time,

HCXO, Maddie Rose