Sexual education in the U.S. has to improve

The state of sexual education in the United States is disgusting.

If you grew up in a town with a good sex ed program, congratulations. But chances are, most of you didn’t. In part, that’s because there are no regulations or standards put into place regarding sex ed.

This is the only kind of education like this. We wouldn’t tolerate math, spelling or history with no standards.

Many states do not even require having sex ed taught at all, and when they do, some don’t require the information taught be medically accurate. How are we tolerating this?

For most of us, our sexual education programs were somewhere between comprehensive and incorrect.

They were muddled. They gave some information, and most of it was probably accurate, but a lot of information was left out. This was how my sex ed experience was in high school.

It was focused on how reproduction works and went over the anatomy of male and female reproductive systems. But that was pretty much it. They mentioned different birth control methods, but failed to even let us know what those methods look like or how they function. There was no putting condoms on a banana or anything. All the actual sex was left out of sex ed.

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While the things we learned were extremely valuable, they missed the important part of having a sex ed class. The things we were learning could have easily been included in a biology class, but there are certain questions related to sexual health that are difficult to put into the curriculum of a biology or physiology class.

For example, what happens when you do have sex? This is something most people will deal with in their lifetime; isn’t it worth educating students about?

Here is some important information my school never taught:

If you have a vagina, pee after sex or you might get a UTI.

If you are having penile-vaginal sex and the condom breaks, talk about it with your partner, and do something about it sooner than later.

Literally everything about abortions.

Planned Parenthood is not evil and you should not be ashamed for going there. They also provide many services besides abortions, including general gynecological stuff and breast exams.

It is okay to have sex with someone the same gender as you.

Literally everything about non-vaginal sex.

Masturbating is fine and everyone does it.

The list goes on and on.

These things are important to know. So why don’t we teach them to teens?

There are a host of arguments against comprehensive sex ed, one of the most prevalent being the notion that it will increase rates of premarital sex.

Study upon study has proven this to be false. In fact, the current national average to start having sex is 17.

Teenagers are going to have premarital sex no matter what. They just are. They had sex in Victorian times, in the 1950s and they have sex now, no matter what certain people want to believe.

But instead of acknowledging this truth and offering sexual information, some people take this fact and try to use sex ed to stop it, which gives us the glorious “abstinence only” programs. These programs are disgusting.

They mostly focus on shaming kids, especially girls, for urges that are totally natural, and make it seem like the world will come crashing down if they dare have a peek in their partner’s pants.

They use metaphors like the dirty gum analogy, comparing sex to being chewed by different people, to persuade teens that if they have a lot of sex, no one will want them. They’re repulsive programs and they offer no information whatsoever on actual sex.

There are lots of reasons we shouldn’t tolerate this, but one of the most important is that we all have sex. Even if everyone were to wait for marriage, most people in their lifetime are going to have sex.

Wouldn’t it be helpful to know what is going on, and to get some basic information about sexual health? Providing “abstinence only” education ignores the reality that people aren’t going to remain abstinent their whole lives.

We can’t let people go without learning about sex. It is an extremely important element of life. And we really need to be taught about sex in school, because otherwise we are forced to seek other sources. Most teens don’t want to talk to their parents about sex, and most parents don’t want to either.

The internet isn’t a great source, and porn is even worse. We want people getting accurate information, so we must turn back to school. We have to start teaching teens comprehensive sex ed, because there is a lot of misinformation that needs to be cleared up.

We can’t have people running around taking fiction for fact. It’s irresponsible, dangerous, and we can do better.