Why We Need REAL Sex Education
September 29, 2017
As of September 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute, fewer than half of U.S. states mandate that sex education be provided through public schools.
Only 13 states require that sex-education curriculum be ”medically accurate.” So basically, in the other 37 states, using a euphemism like “the birds and the bees” is actually considered a legitimate and correct way to educate teens on sex. Fabulous.
Sarcasm aside, failure to implement anatomically and socially correct forms of sexual education in a classroom can be catastrophic.
A survey by the National Union of Students in 2015 revealed that 60 percent of students use porn to find out more about sex, and 40 percent cited porn as helping their understanding about sex. The survey also found that for more than two-thirds of students sitting in a health class, consent was never addressed as part of their curriculum.
So, despite that nearly 75 percent of students agreed that porn provided unrealistic expectations, the fact remains that for many, porn is the number one resource for learning about topics left unaddressed in the classroom.
Classrooms that utilize euphemisms and outdated phrases like “when a man loves a woman…” fail to inform students of the difference between consensual and nonconsensual sex. Ambiguity in the way sex ed. is taught equals ambiguity in real-life scenarios, which begs the question, When are students taught what “no” really means?
The answer, to me at least, is “rarely ever.”
Sure, someone can argue that consent is a clear cut “yes” or “no,” but if it were universally understood that way, in May 2011, a fraternity at Yale University would not have been banned for five years after parading across campus chanting, “NO MEANS YES! YES MEANS ANAL!”
One might counter, But that was six years ago—times have changed. And yes, times have changed.
We know now that we can’t continue to turn a blind eye to the fact that nationwide, sexual education is lacking. Abstinence-only sex education, which completely rejects other forms of contraception, age of consent, and differing views on human sexuality, is outdated. Parents, educators, and students can no longer continue to turn a blind eye to what’s changing in the real world.
I’m not implying that every individual will be sexually assaulted, harassed, or raped, but I’m not saying that possibility doesn’t exist either.
As opposed to creating more misogynistic fraternities, reducing barbaric cases of sexual assault to “20 minutes of action” and a measly three-month sentence (Google “People vs. Turner”), perhaps we should just consider widening the scope of our sexual education.