Most students have vague recollection of a video shown to them in 5th grade. Boys and girls were separated, and both groups watched a video about their bodies. That was it. Then two years later you have a sex education course in your health class. This is still separated by gender, and the teacher spoke about STDs and abstinence. Now we’re in high school…and did anyone really learn about sex through sex ed?
“I believe we’re accurately teaching sex ed. We are getting the message of how you could avoid contracting different STDs,” said health teacher Joe Rohlfing.
When I look back at my time with sex ed, the main focus was on STD prevention. But with such a broad subject matter, why are STDs the main focus? From a personal perspective, the sex ed unit feels like you will get all these fatal diseases if you have sex. While STDs are an important aspect, teachers shouldn’t use the topic to bully students into abstinence.
Everyone has a different view of sex education. Some say the school should only teach about the dangers of sex. Some say teachers should only discuss the anatomy of each gender. Either way they choose to go, teachers cringe for the week and push through the sex ed unit.
In such a small amount of time, students don’t learn much about sex through the sex ed unit. So how do students learn about sex? Let’s see:
- The internet. I mean you just google everything now anyways, right?
- The puberty book. Your parents give you the book and then say you can ask questions when you’re done, but it mostly just creeps you out.
- Friends. Where they learned this information, who knows, but it’s easier than asking your mom or dad.
- Experimentation. A tried and true method for sure.
How are kids and teenagers supposed to learn about sex and how their bodies work? If the health book doesn’t accurately explain the process, maybe one of those sources will.
“I think the sex ed curriculum is great. Are you going to reach every student? Probably not, but if we can reach as many as we can that’s our goal,” said Rohlfing. “I think it is a combo between what we can teach them and then what they also learn at home.”
Sex is a tricky topic with a lot of information packed in. Learning about sex involves learning about many different topics pertaining to your own gender and the other. Treating the subject as awkwardly as we do, it’s difficult to get the important points across. Maybe the school should stop acting like sex is scary and start making it educational.