This article was going to discuss why we need inclusive sex ed classes. Then I realized that inclusion was only part of the problem, In reality, we need truthful and complete sexual education classes that are age appropriate. Here is a list of things that we should be taught in sexual education classes
1. What is Consent?
This one has to come first because it enrages me every time I think about it. Consent really needs to be spoken about in sexual education.
The number of people who lack an understanding of consent is the reason why the world has so many sexual assaults take place. Here is a quick overview: consent means the other person has given you permission to have sex with them; Both parties must consent; Consent can be taken away at any given time; and sex without consent is 100% rape.
2. How to Say "No" and MEAN IT
Learning how to say no is really important. I read the report of the woman who accused Aziz Ansari of rape. Although, much of what he did was COMPLETELY WRONG, I do question what would have happened if she said “No” and meant it.
What if when he motioned for her to perform fellatio she said “no”? What if she stood by her word no and began to walk out the door? Both parties in this situation seem completely clueless about consent. Aziz seemed like he was ignorant to the fact that consent needs to be given verbally and any doubt that a partner does not want to continue is a lack of consent, and the woman seemed completely ignorant of how to say “No”.
She succumbed to the pressure of his persistence instead of saying no and meaning it. What if this whole situation could have been avoided if the woman simply said “No” and walked away? What is Aziz was more knowledgeable about consent and saw her uncertainty as a lack of consent?
3. Why Do People Have Sex?
So of course this part needs to be in an age appropriate sex ed class, but we need to be honest with why people have sex. Telling a 16-year-old, that sex is only for marriage (even if you believe it is true) will only fall on deaf ears.
The truth is there are many reasons people have sex.
Some people have sex to express their love for one another
Of course this does not mean that you have to express your love in this way. Actually, this could open up a conversation about how to express love in ways that are not physical.
Some people have sex to procreate
Some people have sex because they specifically want to have a baby. This could open the conversation about having a baby and the importance of waiting until you are ready emotionally and financially.
Some people have sex to assert dominance
This is not a good reason to have sex. This reason may lead to sexual assault and rape. This can help students to recognize that if they are only having sex to make themselves feel good, they are on a very dangerous path.
Some people have sex because they enjoy it
With this statement, we can teach children about how consensual sex releases endorphins in the brain which helps to relieve stress but could also cause an addiction. They can learn that it is healthy to desire sex, but that it is unhealthy to be completely consumed with it.
4. Sexual Orientations
Most conversations about sex start with “A man and a woman.” The truth is sex could take place between any two people, and depending on the gender of those two people, they may identify as a particular sexual orientation.
Though some people think that this is irrelevant, what it actually does is allow for representation in sex ed. It doesn’t leave students who are LGBBTQ to feel like they are not included in the conversation or that there is something wrong with them.
To address this concern, because I know it will inevitably be said, mentioning LGBTQ topics will not make someone want to switch their orientation. Think about it, all of these years, sex ed has almost always exclusively talked about heterosexuality. However, students on the LGBTQ spectrum still managed to emerge from these classes identifying with a different sexual orientation.
To Learn more about sexual orientations and how to find your orientation, CLICK HERE
5. How to be Safe in ALL Forms of Sex?
When talking about sex, sadly most sex ed classes only ever talk about vaginal sex. There is also anal sex, and oral sex. Most people know that when having vaginal sex, to protect yourself with a condom. However, it is surprising to me the number of sexually active adults that I have encountered that do not know that STI’s could be passed through oral and anal sex. It is also surprising the number of sexually active adults who do not think that it is necessary to use a condom for oral and anal sex.
The truth is, we do not only need to be careful and get tested with our partners when we are interested in vaginal sex, but we also have to do the same when we are interested in engaging in oral and/or anal sex with a partner.
6. Different Forms of Birth Control
I am embarrassed to admit that as a 25-year-old woman, I did not know that there were so many forms of birth control. I knew about condoms (both male and female), birth control pills, the patch, tubal ligation (getting your tubes tied), and sterilization for men.
I did not know about the IUD which could be inserted into the vagina for up to 7 years
I did not know about the birth control implant that could be implanted into a woman’s arm for up to 7 years.
Can you imagine how embarrassing it was for a man to tell me about forms of birth control for my own body? Luckily I was able to look them up and learn more about them on the Planned Parenthood website.
7. Anatomy and Bodily Changes for BOTH genders
I remember as a child, the boys and the girls were separated for sex ed. I remember asking one of my teachers, “why do boys have to go to a class? They do not go through the same thing as girls. They just have wet dreams right?” My teacher informed me that boys go through changes too, but refused to give me any other information when I asked.
Up to this day, I do not know what the boys were taught about their body, but I know that males are completely ignorant in regards to a female’s body. I have had to explain to grown men numerous times why and how a woman gets her period. I have also had to explain what a clitoris is, and the importance of catering to it during sex. I had to explain that a women’s body naturally secretes and that secretion does not mean that a woman is enjoying or consenting to sex.
I am not the only one. Below you will find a list of articles where women have had to explain their bodies to men.
It is important that men understand the woman’s body because 50% of the human population is made up of girls and woman and it is ridiculous that we should have to explain to our boss that we cannot simply “Turn our period” off, as was the case here.
Question of the Week
What exactly is consent?
Answer of the Week
Sexual education needs to be inclusive and age-appropriately honest. Lies tend to cause students to stop listening to everything else you have to say. Not being inclusive puts students with minority sexual orientations at risk for unhealthy and possibly unprotected sexual activity. I challenge parents, even if the schools lack, to teach their children fully about sex.