I’d like to start by saying. Abstinence is not a substitute for sex education. It never will be it hasn’t been effective, and in wouldn’t be effective. Why? Because most people are going to have sex, so if all you do is tell them not to do then how are you surprised when they eventually have sex they make all kinds of mistakes and missteps. You can’t expect to leave the lights off and expect newcomers to navigate the space safely.
People talk about abstinence as though it is some holy grail of sex ed. If only we talked more about abstinence teens and young adults would stop having sex! Hate to tell you but your parents generation of teens had sex, your generation had sex mine does, and the next will. With puberty comes sexual desire, while this isn’t universal it is extremely common, and for many teens and young adults sex is a real and present possibility, and something many want.
Telling teens not to do something isn’t going to be effective, and just telling them the risks isn’t enough as many will go on to risk it anyway. Lying and misleading them into think the risks are greater then they are is a bad idea, because when they find out well good buy to any trust those teens may have had in the person(s) lying to them and those implicit in lying to them. Even if they don’t find out, they are still in the dark about the real risk, and how to protect themselves even if this “save themselves” for marriage they did don’t know the options available to them, including general sex tips like lube usage.
All that you end up doing by promoting abstinence is making those kids ignorant, not safer. Don’t believe me read through this it has some mighty good citations.
Now my rant against abstinence only education has run it’s course I know not many reading is agree with abstinence only and understand abstinence, while it is an option, is only a tiny portion of what our children need to be informed members of society in regards to sexual activity.
I’d like to see a whole (mandatory) course devoted on the subject who’s main point would be as follows.
- Reproduction and anatomy (the biological side of things, also including intersex)
- Sexuality, and a brief look into gender.
- Consent education, and education about rape culture.
- Safe sex, including contraception, knowledge about vaccine treatments, information about testing, types of sexual intercourse, including non-preventative sex. Resources resources resources, you can’t cover everything, but kids will find out if they want to know, so you might as well direct them reputable sources.
- Healthy Relationships, how to communicate, how to determine what you want what your goals are and what your comfortable with, how to share that with your future or current partner(s) and how to respect and compromise with your partner.
- Abuse identification and prevention.
By hitting this 6 major points I could see us giving children a robust foundation for them to build upon as they grow into adults.
Reproduction and anatomy so that they are getting to know what to expect, and it’s just good for health to know how our bodies worth.
Sexuality so we do not push a heteronormative agenda a leave all the LGBTQA children high, dry, lost and confused. As well has just make it clear to everyone that differences in sexual preferences exist and are both normal and natural.
Consent so people stop raping one another, and so our kids understand what rape actually is.
Safe sex because most of these kids are going to be having sex in the next several years best make sure they’re prepared.
Healthy Relationships are something wholly missed in most sex education programs, expect most people will be getting into relationships before having sex. It’s an excellent time to have kids start thinking about what they want and how to communicate those desires, and well as teaching them how to communicate in those future relationships where disagreements or misunderstanding my form.
Domestic abuse is still a massive problem in our world and give the next generation the tools to better identify and deal with it will bring about what I suspect would be some massive positive changes.
This is my ever growing outline for what I plan to be teaching to my kids in the future. I hope to see what we teach in school expand to these important lessons which I feel many children never really learn except for the hard way.
PS. It has been brought to my attention that some folks are think that I want to do away with teaching abstinence altogether. That is not the case, I want to do away with abstinence only education(because it’s been shown highly ineffective, achieving the opposite of it goal), other wise abstaining from sex is a perfectly valid option if you choose it. However it is ill advised and ineffective to try to force abstinence, and does not teach those necessary skills. Also don’t sex shame it’s counter productive, but I’ll do a post on that later.