Too Taboo For School: Things I was Never Taught in Sex Ed
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Too Taboo For School: Things I was Never Taught in Sex Ed

Sex Education, a little more essential than the quadratic formula.

Too Taboo For School: Things I was Never Taught in Sex Ed

In 7th grade, I had my first Sex Education class. The 7th graders crowded into a small auditorium where they told us about abstinence and compared us to cookies. Yeah, cookies. I knew something was up when they compared sexual intercourse to all the boys in 7th grade licking the same Oreo cookie. Pubescent girls whispered to each other about how they wouldn’t have sex until marriage, would only have one partner, and would never end up like that easy Oreo. Freshman year of high school, we had a contracted educator come to our health class and tell us horror stories of how she let her high school boyfriend, who she loved and wanted to spend the rest of her life with, penetrate her in the parking lot of Burger King and then he dumped her. Between Oreos caked in saliva and losing your virginity in some lowly fast food restaurants parking lot, abstinence seemed like the ONLY choice. Treating sex like a disaster keeps teens in the dark about a lot of imperative things. Never once did an educator mention condoms, contraceptives, or safe sex.

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I was pretty shocked to find out only 22 states in the U.S. mandate sex education, and only 12 require that education is medically accurate. I don’t know about you, but there are some obvious gaps in the way Sex Education is taught in most schools in the United States. I want to clarify some things they never talked about in “Sex Education.”

1. Proper Contraceptive Use

I think the most basic, trivial topic we could have been taught in Public School Sex Ed would be how to properly apply a condom. Did you know there was an art to it? Condom companies claim that they are over 97% effective. What they don’t tell you is that condoms are actually 82% effective when used incorrectly. This means of 100 women whose partners use condoms inconsistently or imperfectly, 18 will become pregnant. This is a pretty crucial topic for all the sexually confused teenagers/young adults out there. So, in the words of Lil Wayne, “safe sex is great sex. Better wear that latex cause you don’t want that late text, that ‘I think I’m late’ text.”

Not only are condoms important, birth control is equally important. There are tons of different options depending on safety, effectiveness, accessibility, and affordability including implants, IUD, injections, pills, patch, ring, diaphragm, etc. It is so important to know that there are more options out there that need to be discussed that aren’t the typical pill and condom conversation. There were 95,000 unintended pregnancies in North Carolina in 2010; how many of those could have been prevented if people were taught proper contraceptive use?

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2. Genital Health and Anatomy

Having knowledge on STIs, bacteria, and other gross stuff is pretty essential. Yeah, having funk and gunk going on in your privates doesn’t sound fun and it’s an awkward topic for, already perplexed, teenagers. It’s important to learn about what STI/STD’s are and what can help protect you from them. It’s also pretty important to understand yeast infections, UTIs, and any other genital contractions that could possibly occur because of intercourse. I also think it’s important to understand anatomy. Show all the kids diagrams of penises and vaginas and uteruses. Show them what STD’s look like. Explain to them what these things are.

Fun fact: HPV is like the common cold of the STD world. It is the most common STI in the United States. Most women of reproductive age will contract HPV at least once in their lifetime…about 79 million Americans have already contracted HPV.

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3. Sex is Not a Reflection of your Value

If someone were to ask you what “your number” was, would you sweat it? Is it too high or too low? Guess what? It doesn’t matter! Your worth as a person is not directly tied to the honor/shame tacked to your number. Don’t slut shame people and don’t let them slut shame you. If you’ve only had sex with one person and they’re the love of your life…that’s great. It’s also chill if you’ve had sex with ten people (I just hope it was safe sex). You cannot use sex as leverage to make someone like you and it’s not a trophy to show how cool you are. Don’t degrade yourself if you feel too experienced/not experienced enough- it’s just a number.

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4. Rape

No means no. Saying ‘yes’ and then changing your answer to ‘no’ means no. Not being able to give an answer means no. You have the right to say when you’re not ready, you’re not in the mood, or you just don’t want sex from them. Peer pressure isn’t cool. Rape isn’t cool. I think it’s important to reiterate this, already basic, thought to these hormone crazy kids. You don’t need an excuse or a reason for saying no or changing your mind. There’s no negotiating, nagging, or pushing when it comes to sex. If it’s forced, it’s not sex, it’s rape.

5. Communication

Of course, the girl with the Communication degree is going to preach to you about communicating (yes, that’s me). I think communication with you partner is such a big priority. Sex Education never told us how having a foundation of consent, positivity, respect, and pleasure in a sexual relationship was crucial. Be comfortable with your partner. Discuss your sexual history. Discuss what you like and don’t like. Trust them. Talk things out with them. Make decisions together. Communicate, so you don’t end up like Seth Rogan and Katherine Heigel in Knocked Up.

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I think it’s important to note that while my middle and high school math teachers stressed the importance of the quadratic equation, I believe Sex Education is a little bit more essential for “the real world.” What do you wish you were taught in Sex Ed?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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