I don't know about you but my sex education lessons over the years have been pretty much nonexistent. I don't think I even had any during year 11, which is surely one of the most pivotal points of a teenager's life to be talking about this kind of stuff. Is it just me or is the 'putting the condom on the banana' pretty outdated now?
I think it's important that schools stay with the times and start realising that not all of their female students will actually need to practise putting a condom on a banana anymore and there is much more practical information they should be learning.
Here are five topics which I think need to be addressed more openly in sex education lessons within schools! Let's break the taboos!
This is a touchy subject. I know not everyone's religion agrees with self-pleasure and some people just don't like it or feel comfortable with doing it and that's absolutely fine. I don't think we should force anyone to engage in something, they feel uncomfortable with.
However instead of just saying 'wanking is great, everyone go and have a try- you will love it!' Actually explaining the scientific benefits it has to the body; helping reduce stress, helping you get to sleep etc. Will be able to help young people make a more informed decision about whether they choose to masturbate or not. Instead of just having false preconceived misconceptions that everyone who enjoys self-pleasure is dirty they can find out some hardcore (this post is so hard to write without innuendos) facts about what masturbation really is.
In addition to this, talking about the benefits of masturbation for both men AND women will be able to remove the stigma surrounding female masturbation, supporting women in feeling more comfortable in openly admitting they enjoy self-pleasure and not feeling ashamed or embarrassed by it. Female masturbation should be encouraged and not frowned upon.
When a woman is raped, the media and society automatically assume that she must have been wearing sexually inviting clothes or acting in a promiscuous way. I have news for you! What causes rape is rapists. Nothing more, nothing less. Women can be rapists. Men can be rapists.
When we think of rape we picture the scene of some young innocent girl being beaten and sexually assaulted down some dark alleyway. Yes, rape can occur like this. However, rape is more likely to occur at a teenage house party when party goers are under the influence.
I think it is absolutely fundamentally important that young people are taught what consent sounds like during their sex education lessons. Unless it is a firm, 100% yes, consent has not been given. Sex without consent is rape. " I am not sure" "I don't think I am ready" "ummm.." "Can you stop now" "I don't like that" is NOT yes! Both boys and girls need to be taught what consent sounds like.
STI'S AND HVI
Some schools may already cover this topic slightly within their sex education lessons, although I definitely never received much information in school about the different STI's out there, HVI and how they are transmitted. I think it's highly important that just like any other topic in sex education, it should not just be exclusive to heterosexual relationships. I think those in homosexual relationships have equally the same right to learn about how STI's can be passed during sex. There is obviously the main reasons that everyone knows about, but what about the others. What about through the different types of sex? Are schools really educating young people enough about how to stay safe, in all the different types of sex that occur during the 21st century or are they just providing the basic, bare minimal facts?
HIV and AIDS are two very commonly misunderstood terms, that many young people don't know too much about. And to be honest nor did I till a few months ago. I bet if you go into any secondary school playground you will have year 7 and 8 kids running out, shouting their friend has HIV because they touched that dirty banana skin on the floor. Not only does this foolish behaviour make people suffering from the disease isolated and embarrassed it also contributes to the stigma surrounding HIV.
Lot's of people who think of someone with HIV think they are dirty and careless. Although the most common way for HIV to be spread is through unprotected sex, HIV can also be spread by using a contaminated needle, syringe or any other injecting equipment. If someone contracted HIV through a dirty needle, through no fault of their own, does that make them dirty? No, it doesn't! I think it's about time schools step up to the mark and start educating children about these terms they so carelessly use!
Most of us are familiar with the terms gay, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgender. But what about Demisexual, pansexual or asexual? What about the terms we use so lightly? "oh he's so gay" "Stop being such an angry lesbian" Young people use these terms in a derogatory way! They pass them around willy-nilly because they don't 100% know what they mean. And who could blame them? They are not mentioned once in sex education Syllabuses.
Discovering and coming to terms with your sexuality can be a challenging time for any young person, but in an uneducated society, where stigma and stereotypes are ingrained within us only makes it a million times worse. Many young people try to deny or hide their sexuality because they are ashamed or embarrassed about what people may think. I mean so would you if you knew people out there who didn't even believe asexuals were real people.
I think it's highly important to teach young people the different sexualities and also explore what they can do if they are feeling unsure or uncertain about their own sexuality. By teaching teenagers from a young age helps create a more culturally aware and diverse society where everyone can appreciate that it doesn't matter who love is between. Love is love.
Seriously, I think this topic is so important to address in sex education lessons within schools. I think it's so wrong for teachers to deny the fact that some of their students have probably watched or seen porn before, either once or because they watch it on a regular basis. Some of you may be screaming " You can't teach children about porn! What if they have never watched it before and now they go and watch it and are negatively influenced" This is my exact point! Because we don't educate young people about what porn is and the negative influence it can have upon us, these kids don't know how to react so are negatively influenced anyway.
You can't hide teenagers away from porn for the whole of their life's. Most young people will discover it and watch it at some point in their life's. It's important to teach young people that porn is not necessarily bad. Having a healthy relationship with watching porn is okay, but what makes porn bad is when it starts to distort your views and opinions on what sex is really like.
Not only can this have a negative influence upon how couples (prominently men, wanting their partner to look e.g no pubic hair. It can work both ways, though) treat each other and what they expect in the bedroom. It can also have significant impacts upon your own body confidence. Maybe you are disappointed in yourself because you can't emulate what they do in the porn you watch. Porn is not real sex. It's about time schools realise this and start cottoning on to what the really important things kids need to be learning about sex within the 21st century.
And there we have five topics that need to be taught about more in sex education lessons! I hope you agree with these points I made and I would love to hear your opinions or if you think I missed anything off this list, let me know in the comments below!
Thank for reading, as always x