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 »
Incredible news, everyone! A “concerned parent” in Kansas just discovered something groundbreaking: if you hide the suggestion of sexual activity from 13-year-olds entirely, it will prevent them from engaging in that behavior forever. They will never figure it out on their own.
So discovered “concerned parent” Mark Ellis, who successfully had a sexual education poster, “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?”, removed from his daughter’s Hocker Grove Middle School classroom because it was about sex. Victory is his. Keep reading »
In the back of my mind, I’ve always felt that if I wasn’t in my current profession, I would absolutely love to be a sex health educator.
I remember being that kid — the one whose parents gave her all sorts of illustrated books geared at children illustrating your body and all the “special changes” it went through. I dutifully pointed out these pictures to any friend that came over for a playdate, much to their surprise, disgust or delight.
When I was in high school, I was the regional community service leader of a Jewish youth group. In between organizing canned food drives and playground clean-ups, I instituted a workshop on safe sex, complete with an accompanying VHS of a “90210″ episode on condoms. Hey! It was the mid-’90s and we were all for everything and anything Beverly Hills. #DylanAndKelly4Ever.
When I was teaching high school, I would have students come up to me after receiving a sex ed lecture asking if I could help them make an appointment with a local clinic just to get checked out. Hearing that one in four sexually active women have HPV really seemed to sink in (this was before the vaccine was regularly available). Keep reading »
Principal Mark Slater of The Leys in Cambridge, a prestigious boarding school in the UK, has an idea popular with 14-year-old boys the world over: students should be taught sex education by porn stars.
Wait, what? Oh, he has his reasons! ”I wouldn’t rule it out — simply because of what they’ve done in their life — if I felt that person was going to put across good values and be a good influence,” Slater explained.
While we appreciate his accepting attitude, and understand that he feels that the students will learn a lot about the less glamorous and dangerous parts of the pornography industry, this suggestion is truly, laughably terrible. As the porn star James Deen has put it, when he visits college campuses to lecture about safe sex, real life sex is nothing like porn sex: Keep reading »