Why Safe Sex Education is Important

Last week, in my Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies class (which by the way is SUCH a good course that everyone should take!) we had three contraceptive counselors from our university’s health center visit. In class, we are in the reproductive rights unit, and these counselors came to discuss misconceptions and myths regarding methods of birth control, as well as to provide us with thorough information about different types of contraceptives: their specific benefits, risks, and the ways in which one could obtain them. 

I was deeply moved by this class. Not only by the utter patience and sheer knowledge presented by the counselors, but also for the unashamed questions that were openly asked and answered between my classmates. 

Their questions, most of which I also had, were not naive, but rather, they showcased the genuine and understandable curiosity that we all maintained. It got me thinking about how necessary presentations and conversations like these are. My class consists of mainly 18/19-year-olds, with the exception of a few, and yet for most of us, this is the first time we have ever had a sincere conversation in regard to this topic aside from occasional run-ins with Google. 

This has been a consistent theme during my experience in this class. It has been so reflective and progressive. We spend a great deal of time just sharing our own stories, and it is blatantly apparent that such an open structure has never been offered to any of us. It is what makes this one of my, and my fellow classmates' favorite classes. 

For some reason, it took a class period like this for me to really be struck by the significance of being transparent. This kind of open conversation and accessible education about contraception should be available prior to our college years. Abstractly, it sounds odd to express that we had to wait until adulthood until we had an honest conversation about safe sex. 

This is our reality, however. And, I think having such roles as contraceptive counselors is deeply important to the overall growth and comfort about the topic that is one of the most fundamental and natural topics in the world. 

By discussing it earlier, this stigma of sexual education being taboo and a shameful topic can be minimized---and we can celebrate feeling more at ease, informed, and confident.