What Is Sexual Health?
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

What Is Sexual Health?

Why comprehensive sexual health education matters

66
What Is Sexual Health?

I used to consider myself very knowledgeable about sexual health. I knew the various methods of preventing STIs, as well as several types of contraceptive methods. Defining myself as a feminist, I have also begun to understand the social justice implications of sexuality education.

One quote that I feel helps articulate my thoughts about sexuality education are in the words of Dr. Eli Coleman, the Director of the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota: "Sexual health is more than freedom from sexual disease or disorders ... Sexual health is non-exploitive and respectful of self and others ... Sexual health is dependent upon an individual's well-being and sense of self-esteem. Sexual health requires trust, honesty, and communication."

One of my friends, a vocal feminist, and has recently drafted an intersectional teenage feminist manifesto. And though I feel that this was partially in jest, teenage feminism should be and is real, and is inextricably linked to sexuality education.

In my high school sex ed class, our teacher got in trouble for telling us which sexual activities were more risky than others. Though he was able to tell us about STIs and inform us about our anatomy, he had to preface everything with “Abstinence is the only 100% effective method of preventing pregnancy and STIs.” And while this may be true, studies have shown that abstinence-only education is not effective. When teens are both patronized and given ineffective information, the only place left for us is a state of belittlement and ignorance. Though some are able to reach out and search for methods to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy, others are not afforded the resources to do so, or the knowledge to find them. At this point, sexuality education can become an equalizer between those who have resources and those who don’t. From a feminist standpoint, sexuality education can help allay the cycle of poverty, and especially its feminization.

By providing teens with sexuality education, we are able to educate them while giving them the means to empower themselves and create healthier and more meaningful relationships. Without comprehensive sexuality education, we are condemning not only them, but ourselves.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

97232
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments