Gwynn: College students need better sex education
- Sep. 30, 2012
- 2 Comments
Sex education is one of those things we were taught to roll our eyes at in middle school and high school. We giggle at memories of condoms on bananas, gym and health teachers mentally preparing themselves to say “vagina,” and being told that if you have sex “you will get pregnant, and die.”
(And of course, for all of those who can join me in Catholic School Solidarity, the inevitable weaving in of Adam and Eve. Because nothing says a healthy attitude towards sex like the Bible.)
The state of American sex education is pretty laughable to be honest, so I get why a lot of people my age write off sex education. But it’s also an attitude that makes things suck.
I have found that the typical college student tends to focus on the hilarity or stupidity of the sex education they received; rather than trying to some way correct that education, and you know, learn something.
A lot of people think they know a fair amount about sex, either because they went to the obligatory sex education session in school, or they’ve learned stuff from parents, friends, etc. Or because they watch a lot of porn.
And to be fair, maybe you went to an awesomely progressive school with comprehensive, accurate sex education, or your parents, friends, and so forth weren’t either awkward about the material being discussed or the products of sub-par sex education themselves. Or perhaps you haven’t watched 99 percent of porn, which, while entertaining, doesn’t exactly tend to lend itself to realistic or healthy depictions of sex.
Basically, you probably don’t know much, or enough, about sex. Even if you’ve been having sex, there are likely things you’re doing that you’ve learned based on inaccurate information, or things you don’t know because you didn’t get enough information.
For example, as the YouTube Sex Vlogger Laci Green said, did you know that if you’re biologically female and having vaginal intercourse for the first time, it doesn’t have to be painful? And you don’t have to bleed? If you do the necessary preparation (and use tons of lube) you can actually have a fairly decent “first time”.
Or, for those biologically male, did you know you folks actually have a G-spot? Yeah man, as Discovery Health discusses, thanks to the almighty prostate, more potential orgasms for you. Congratulations.
There are so many things that most of American sex education doesn’t cover. Did you know, according to Planned Parenthood, condoms become ineffective if left in too extreme of temperatures? Or that a lot of sexually transmitted infections don’t actually have visible physical signs?
And don’t even get me started on how sex education in the United States hardly ever takes into consideration that some people are not heterosexual or 100 percent biologically male or female.
You might have gotten screwed by your sex education in school, but there are resources you can take advantage of to correct that.
Planned Parenthood’s website has a huge section devoted to sex education, and they also do workshops for college students. The Ecumenical Christian Ministry on campus has talks every Tuesday evening about topics concerning sex. And then there’s actually a fair number of sex bloggers on the internet, like Laci Green or GoAskAlice, who both give factual, accurate information concerning sex. There’s tons of ways to learn.
When students go away to college, it’s one of the first times in a young person’s life that they are actually on their own and able to make decisions about their lives without worrying about their families’ judgments or disapproval. This makes college the first time most people get to be sexually free, which can be awesome. If you know how to do so safely and responsibly, sex is great. But without a solid sex education to back up that freedom, way too many students end up either in unsatisfying, painful or dangerous sexual situations.
Being in college without a good sex education is like going swimming without taking swimming lessons. I mean, maybe you’ll be okay, but maybe a shark is going to come your way. I’d personally be prepared to swim the hell away from the shark.
If you want to have sex, you totally deserve to have great sex. If you don’t want to have sex, you totally deserve how to know if someone’s taking advantage of you. It’s important to know how your body works and how healthy sexual activity should function.
You deserve to be empowered in your own body and sexuality. And that my friends, is what good sex education does.
Gwynn is a sophomore majoring in English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality from Olathe. Follow her on twitter @AllidoisGwynn.