• Fri, May 10 2013

Why Sex Education Is So Important

sex edWhen I think of sex education, two things come to mind:

1. The episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 when Donna Martin gives this silly speech about if you’re going to have a pool, you better teach your kids how to swim — you know, deep metaphor there. For all her character’s ditziness, this was supposed to be a big moment in how she stood up to her mother who was fighting against sex ed being taught at West Beverly High.

2. The day we were forced to watch a documentary about a woman giving birth, and when the camera zoomed in on her vagina, the teacher leapt from his desk to cover that part with his hand. He didn’t, however, mute the screams of pain as that vagina was ripped open by an infant’s head. We were all scarred.

In both occasions, I didn’t really think about how important sex education is. I knew about condoms, STDs, pregnancy, and all that, but the rest of it seemed useless. I was 15 or so, and most things seem pointless at that age.

As we watch universities crack down on sex education and Sex Weeks all over the country, the big question is “Why?” Although I’d like to believe that most adults, especially those who are in college and sexually active, would have a vast knowledge about sex, that isn’t always the truth. An example? A friend of mine recently asked, seriously, if you could get HPV from a toilet. I’m not even kidding, and apparently, neither was she. If that isn’t a case for the fact that sex ed is necessary, than I don’t know what is.

As Cosmo points out, the University of Tennessee’s financial cut for their Sex Week was not the only college to see their sex education threatened:

Later that month, the University of Pennsylvania declared that no tuition dollars would be used on its Sex Week festivities, forcing student groups to foot the bill for sex ed lectures and workshops. Around the same time, a special sex-themed issue of Central New Mexico Community College’s newspaper was banned over its guide to on-campus sex resources and sex toys. Then, in early April, Boston College, a Catholic university, ordered a student-lead sexual health group to stop distributing free condoms—or else.

That’s right, “or else.”

What the conservative politicians seem to forget is that teaching “abstinence only,” is great in theory, but in the real world doesn’t fly. It’s in college, and even high school for some, that people start experimenting with sex. Your hormones are all abuzz, you’re feeling things in places you didn’t know existed before, and once you experience your first orgasm, sex becomes something that is not easily given up.

That being said, sex education is completely necessary. Education, in all its forms exists to inform people of things they don’t know or understand. Sex ed is just as important to a student’s curriculum as math or English. Humans are sexual, and to ignore that fact by tossing out “abstinence only,” is not only ignorant, but a disservice to everyone.

Do you want to be a 29-year-old woman asking your friend if HPV can be contracted from toilet seat? No, you don’t; especially if your friend is me, and I’m just going to mention it on the Interwebs later. Sex education is something for which we should fight to keep in our schools, so we don’t live in fear of toilets — there are enough germs on them to worry about as it is.

Is your college trying to take sex education away from the students?

 

Photo: Communiststudents.org

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  • Tania

    I will say it again: extensive sex ed happened starting from grade 6 where I went to school (condoms on bananas at that point) until the end of grade 12, condoms available in the counsellor’s office, youth clinic two blocks from my high school.

    And zero teenage pregnancies.

    Edit: at my school while I went there. I can’t speak for the lower-income schools in Surrey and etc.