It should come as no surprise to anyone that sexual education in the United States is horrible. Ideally, sex ed should be a helpful, mandatory course that teaches students about safe sex, along with all of their options. Instead, the guidelines vary by state, most students aren’t learning anything useful, and everyone is left confused. While there are definitely some schools around the country that offer great sex ed, the sad fact is that the majority of schools do not.
Studies show that not only does sex education keep students safer, it also encourages students to wait. There’s nothing wrong with having sex at a young age, but many people regret their first time, and maybe that could be avoided if they were better informed about sex. With facts like these, why aren’t more schools teaching things that students really need to know? It’s disappointing, concerning, and really discouraging.
Sex is a huge part of our world, and there’s no getting around it. School administrators, educators, and politicians can pretend all they want that teens aren’t having sex, but they’re wrong. Every day, I get questions from you guys about the basics of sex. At Gurl, we’re happy to help and inform you guys. But this is stuff that you should have learned in school – not that you had to Google to find out about. With that being said, here are 10 things that are seriously wrong with sex right now.
It's Starting Too LateAccording to a new study, sex education, in most cases, is starting way too late. Researchers found that for sex ed to be most effective, it needs to be taught to students ages 10-14-years-old. Most schools teach it later than that. In high school, our health class (that included sex ed) wasn't something students were allowed to take until 11th grade. 11th grade! That's an average age of 16 or 17. Ideally, sex ed should be taught in middle school, when kids start experiencing hormones, thoughts, and desires. But if that's not possible for some reason, it should be a required course in their freshman year of high school. Source: ShutterStock
There's Not Enough Of ItIf a school is required to teach sex ed (more on that in a second), there usually isn't enough of it. I went to a Catholic middle where our sex ed was one short class (ONE) in sixth grade, and then it was never discussed again. In high school, health class was only one semester long, not even a full year. This is the case in many schools. In order for students to learn all of the important info that is out there, they need at least a full year of sex ed. Source: Tumblr
Some States Don't Require It At AllIn WTF news, some states don't even require sex ed to be part of a curriculum. These charts are shocking. You won't believe how many states don't require schools to teach about sex ed. How are students supposed to learn anything if they don't even have the chance to be taught? I mean, one semester of sex ed didn't teach me much, but it definitely taught me more than students with no sex ed learned! Source: ShutterStock
Some Schools Are Still Preaching AbstinenceOne of the worst things a school can do is teach with an abstinence only policy. Studies have proven that this method does not work at all - in fact, schools that preach abstinence only are usually schools with high rates of pregnancy because nobody knows what the eff they're doing. I'm not saying abstinence is bad - if that's your choice, that's great. But teaching abstinence only means you don't teach how to have safe sex. This means that students don't learn about condoms, birth control, or anything else. Telling students not to have sex and expecting them to actually listen is absurd. Students should be taught what they need to know so that they can make an informed decision on their own. Source: Tumblr
Students Need To Learn More About ConsentA while ago, I was reading a Reddit thread on things that should be taught in sex ed classes, and a lot of people said there needed to be more about consent. It's true! So many people unfortunately do not understand the laws of consent. Students don't only need to be taught that "no means no..." they also need to be taught about statutory rape laws, ages of consent in each state, and what can happen if you ignore someone saying no. Source: Tumblr
There Isn't Enough Being Taught About Birth Control OptionsMost sex ed classes teach about three types of birth control: condoms, the Pill, and abstinence. You would assume that those are the only three options out there, but you would be so wrong. It took me years to realize that the Pill isn't right for everyone, including myself. Schools need to teach about IUDs, NuvaRings, shots, and more. Students need to learn that one option doesn't work for everyone. They need to learn where they can get birth control. Schools think that by not teaching about these options, students won't have sex, but that's ridiculous. By not teaching these options, they're allowing kids to have unsafe sex because they don't know what they can do. Source: Tumblr
You Don't Learn About What Happens After Having Sex (Besides Pregnancy and STDs)Schools teach students that once you have sex, two things could happen: you can pregnant, or you can get an STD. But what about the other stuff that happens? Why don't schools teach about bacterial infections? Or that girls have to pee after having sex because otherwise they can get a painful UTI? That stuff is important to know also, and a lot of people don't because they were never taught it. Teaching this stuff isn't encouraging students to have sex... it's encouraging students to be safe if they choose to have sex. Source; Tumblr
There's Too Much Slut-ShamingMany teachers make it seem like having sex is a bad thing. Schools preach that having sex is a bad choice, it's something you should be embarrassed about, and it's only going to lead to disaster. None of that is true! You don't have to be with someone you love and want to spend your life with. You don't have to be embarrassed because you have sexual desires. While unsafe sex can definitely lead to disaster, safe, protected sex shouldn't. Why is there all this fear injected into sex education? Source; Tumblr
Too Many Parents Are Scared To Talk To Their Kids About ItSchools aren't the only culprit here. Many parents are too nervous or scared to teach their kids about sex ed. I understand - parents don't want to think about their kids having sex, it's an awkward topic, and they don't want to bring it up. But they HAVE to. It's so important for students to not only get an education at school, but to also be able to have answers at home. Parents should support and help their children, especially with something like this. Source: Tumblr
Students Need More Info On AbortionsThis is where a lot of religious issues come in. Many people don't believe in abortion or they aren't pro-choice, and so these personal beliefs get in the way of informing students about what abortion is and what happens when you have one. This shouldn't happen. Abortion is a personal choice, and just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean you shouldn't teach people about it. Everyone deserves to be informed. Source: ShutterStock
What do you think about this list? What do you disagree with? What did I forget to include? How was your sex ed? Tell me in the comments.