Importance of Sex Education

Teaching sex education has always been a sore point for educational institutions and parents alike. Neither particularly want to do it, and when it is done, they blame each other for inadequate teaching, or improper inappropriate teaching. Combine that with a litigious society and the focus then shifts away from the importance of teaching our young but about protecting ourselves, assets, and reputations. Take for example the recent heat in regards to the Safe Schools issue, which doesn’t even necessarily cover sex per say, but gender and body issues. Thinking about my own sexual education, I knew enough to understand where the dick went, but it was emotionless, detached, and focused on reproduction. Sex was a form of reproduction, there was no pleasure in it, and it was about achieving climax and about and getting the deed done. Here are a few things that they don’t teach you in sex ed.

Hands with Love and Condoms
Photo: Sex Education

  1. What a normal healthy cock, vagina and ass look like: Confidence is a huge thing to a teenager, and when your body is going through so many changes at a rapid pace it’s easy to get lost in everything. By teaching that everyone has different shapes, sizes, and all sorts of things in between it would do wonders to boost a young person’s confidence. It is also a precursor to sexual health, and by acknowledging normality, you can then understand when something is wrong.
  2. Porn is by no means an accurate depiction of sex: Young adults consume pornography. We can like it or hate it, however it could be easily argued that the consumption of porn revolves around curiosity, a lack of positive and useful sexual information. People need to know that there are different cocks, asses and vaginas and not everything looks like porn. Nor should sexual activity mirror porn. Pornography should be understood to be a performance, and whilst young adults recognise that films and TV shows are a performance, it’s never explicitly stated that pornography is also a performance.
  3. I am a 28 year old gay male: I came across a catchy title on the gailygrind a few months ago along the lines of Hot, Naked and how to check your balls. The guy looked cute, so I clicked. I then watched a video on how to check your balls for lumps, which could be cancer. That’s an enormous amount of time whereby I didn’t know how to check my own balls for cancer. The same can be said of women and spending time with a mirror and having a look at what’s going on. You aren’t taught that – and that’s an important part of sexual health. With the American Cancer Society stating that one in every 263 men will develop testicular cancer at some stage in their lives, it’s important that these kinds of things be taught.
  4. Sex and Pleasure: One of the primary reasons we even have sex is for pleasure, yet we aren’t ever taught that. This is probably considered the ‘riskiest’ of sexual health education because it is often seen as the promotion of sex. But it’s a part of sex. Humans don’t just have sex to reproduce, we have it because we find it pleasurable, because it’s intimate and because orgasms, ejaculation, sex are incredibly healthy for an active body and mind.
  5. People have sex with other people regardless of their sex and gender.
  6. Relationships are a part of sex: As mentioned above, sex is not just about reproduction. It’s about intimacy, relationships and partner ships. When leaving the emotional side of sex out of the equation, you’re setting people up to get hurt. On that token, Consent is rarely mentioned. Considering the importance of sexual consent, and the continual bandying about of the term ‘Consent’, you’d think that we would spend more time determining the idea of consent and what that means in a sexual context between sexually active persons
  7. Condoms and safe sex: Yes, safe sex is covered. But the amount of people that do not know that there are different sized and shaped condoms defies belief. A lot of people have grown accustomed to not wearing condoms because they had continually broken. Condoms break for three reasons, incorrect size, not using lubricant, incorrect use and/or storage.
  8. Confidence: Sexual confidence is an important part of sexual relations and mental health. All of the above lead to a confidence within yourself as a sexually active person. Without that confidence, you become a little lost and it’s easy to fall to the side in that time.

The point here is that sexual education is an important part of growing up. Yes, we didn’t get that as we grew up, but is there not a small part of you that wishes you had been a little more prepared? I don’t think there is anyone that would actively say no. Life is already challenging enough, and half the problem with sexual education is the level of awkwardness we perceive around it. We, as a society, spend far too long trying to protect the innocence of our young that we forget that they have grown up. Many people argue that by exposing them to sexual education and sexual health that we open up their minds and they will make mistakes, but the point is that we all make mistakes. How informed you are when you make it, is the difference.

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