I’m delighted to hear that they’ve made teaching about birth control mandatory in Illinois public school sex ed classes, for I went to public schools in Illinois. This is what I remember about my sex-ed class:
1) A man coming in to discuss how his daughter had been murdered by her boyfriend. The same man came in to talk to all the students in school at a public assembly every single year. I never quite understood what we were supposed to take away from this, other than, “If you date anyone, they might murder you.” It always ended with him talking about his faith in Jesus, which, while it made me cry every single time, did not really help me learn about safe sex. This may be partially responsible for my suspecting everyone I am on a first date with is a serial killer, though, so, maybe it was useful.
2) Watching a movie called No One Would Tell. It starred Fred Savage as a jock who kept beating up his girlfriend. It really made me watch The Wonder Years in a new, suspicious light. It didn’t help with sex ed, but I can’t watch The Wonder Years now. It’s just too dark.
3) My gym teacher teaching us that girls fake orgasms, “When they feel bad for the guy. When they feel pity.” I think in reality many girls fake orgasms when they feel like they have stuff to do, but I did not know that at the time, so assumed that faking orgasms was a noble, martyr-y thing to do. May have told a friend, “Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is fake an orgasm.”
4) A poster which read “AIDS: Who do you want to give it to?” I was never able to see this poster without thinking “Well, Alan Goldberg, I guess, that kid is kind of a jerk.” I still do not understand how that poster existed, and I think about it all the time. How was that poster helpful for anyone?
5) We had to fill out a list of dream qualities in a partner. A portion of that entailed listing how many sexual partners our dream fantasy partner had had. I put down ’5′ which now strikes me as hilarious. The correct answer was 0. There was, I recall, some debate on if it should be zero or one. Presumably there were some exceptions if, I don’t know, they needed to have sex with their college/high school boyfriend/girlfriend before that person went off to die in a war. I think it was around that time that I started to realize that Illinois was really the wrong state for me to be in.
I’m pretty sure they can do away with all of that in favor of teaching you to use condoms and not let them expire. Almost positive, really.