I was glad that my mom and I had exactly the same feelings on having “The Talk”: neither of us wanted to do it, and we were glad that it was over so quickly. I was 11-ish or 12-ish, and my mom casually asked, “We haven’t had The Talk yet, have we?” And I said, “I don’t need to, I know how it works. It’s on TV and in movies.” So she said, “OK, how does it work?” I made my left thumb and forefinger into a circle and jabbed my right index finger into the middle once or twice. My sister Sara laughed.
“That’s not really all we’re supposed to talk about,” my mom said. Keep reading »
As a modern woman who values her reproductive rights and the education of sexual health, I’m ALL ABOUT today’s young folks taking sex ed classes— but not when they’re sexist, bigoted and alllll sorts of wrong.
A secondary school in Singapore, Hwa Chong Institution, held a mandatory sex education session recently sponsored by Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs-based non-profit known for preaching abstinence and anti-gay rhetoric. One whistle-blower, a brave teen named Agatha Tan, was so appalled by the sexist and bigoted materials provided in the course that she wrote a thoughtful open letter to her principal complaining about the class, and posted it to Facebook. So why was she so appalled? Prepare to facepalm for days… Keep reading »
Once upon a time, I was a high school social studies teacher. One of my favorite classes to teach was a college lecture-style current events course. I co-taught it with a handful of my colleagues and we gathered every morning in the school’s auditorium with the entire senior class. Since it was so convenient, administration occasionally used this time for other events like assemblies, graduation information, and the mandatory sex-education requirement for 12th graders. This requirement was fulfilled over the course of two days, where a sexual health educator from Planned Parenthood would come and lecture for two class sessions on contraception and STDs.
Ninety minutes. Ninety minutes over the course of an entire year. That is how long was devoted to teaching over 500 teenagers the ins and out of safe sex and sexuality. So it never failed to surprise me that, like clockwork, I would have students come up to me after the safe-sex presentation and ask me all sorts of questions. This is absolutely not to dismiss the wonderful educator from Planned Parenthood; she knew her stuff and was a pro at disseminating the information to teens. She never faltered, used to the outbursts, titters, and hand gestures routinely made … especially as she demonstrated the proper way to put on a condom. Keep reading »
If there’s one thing we gotta be sure about when it comes to sex education textbooks, it’s that they can’t be too sexy. We wouldn’t would impressionable children getting any ideas that sex can be pleasurable, right?! Teachers and parents in Fremont, California, gave input leading to the purchase of Your Health Today, which will be used for ninth-grade classes. But other parents are griping about the book being “pornography,” cranky that the sex ed book is more appropriate for the college level thanks to drawings of anatomy and topics like birth control, foreplay and masturbation. And God forbid, it even mentions orgasms! Keep reading »
Today, Reddit asked sex ed teachers about the weirdest misconceptions they’ve had to clear up among their students. Uh oh, do we really want to know? Just as we suspected, lots of young people are really uninformed. Like, eating Skittles and doing sit-ups to prevent pregnancy uninformed. Abstinence-only policies can do that to a kid. Read it and weep (while falling over laughing). Keep reading »