Sexual Education is exactly what it sounds like. It is supposed to be about how our bodies work and how they can interact in intimate settings along with everything that happens before and after.
In the words of the Green Arrow, the State of Florida, you have failed the people who live under these educational policies. Currently, sex ed in the state of Florida has a strong theme of abstinence engrained in its statute. Most of what I remember about the brief sexual education that I had as a middle schooler was a gloss over abstinence, the Miracle of Life video, and a heavy focus on identifying abusive behavior in relationships. All of those are very important to learn about. However, my sister had a different experience when they likened women who have had sex outside of a marriage to basically "damaged goods". This is a very harmful and ineffective way to teach young boys and girls about sex and their bodies and their choices.
First and foremost, teaching towards specifically girls being "damaged goods" when they have sex is yet another way the patriarchy is able to keep its nasty claws onto our country by further spreading the notion that sexuality in women must be suppressed. Additionally, being called "damaged goods" is a very heartbreaking thing to hear when so many young men and women experience sexual assault in the short years that they have been alive. This kind of teaching is callous and apathetic to the traumatic experiences that a large enough number of people go through at a young age and it is breaking down their confidence and sense-of-self that has already been damaged from the experiences they might have had on top of all of the insecurities so many middle and high schoolers have.
Secondly, the State of Florida not only teaches abstinence as the primary option, but to add to this disgrace in sexual education, in the official 2018 Florida Legislature it says, "Teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage,". Don't believe me? Here's the link. It is the year 2018, same-sex marriage has been legally considered marriage for almost 3 and a half years. The State government here in Florida is failing the population of LGBTQ+ by continuously excluding them from the narrative in their health education and it is shameful.
It takes five minutes to read through the sexual health requirements that the Florida government has for schools in this state. Five minutes is probably also the amount of time they put into thinking about this. It truly shows the care the government has about making sure kids are able to properly learn about things they will inevitably encounter as they continue to grow older and have more experience with the world. We as citizens are responsible for sending kids out into the real world without proper education.
Sexual education should be more than just about abstinence. It should be about the choices that kids will eventually be able to make and making sure that these kids have enough knowledge to make proper and safe decisions for themselves, that will also respect those around them. Sexual education should be about sexuality and understanding that certain feelings and certain urges are normal. I believe that proper sexual education also has the responsibility of teaching kids about the LGBTQ+ community and what it means to be a part of it and what resources they have available to them if they want to learn more. And most importantly, sexual education should teach everybody about CONSENT.
It wouldn't feel right to end this article without my friend John Oliver. The video below is a long one, so if you don't have time to watch all of it, skip to 17:25 and watch the last three or so minutes of this video for a very important and educational PSA.