Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sex Ed...Sort Of.

There's this new story going around the internet--I'm sure you've seen it. Some 7th grade teacher was encouraging her students to ask honest questions about sex and allowed them to do so anonymously. She put them on a blog and that's where we are now. Everyone's writing about how hilarious they are, these ignorant and ridiculous questions about sex. It's everywhere. 

And I wish it would stop. Sure, from our perspective these questions are funny. Because we're adults. And we've already learned it. We think it's funny to ask what are different kinds of sex because we know the answer. But take a minute and think back to 7th grade. When you didn't know about sex. (Even if you were having it already.) 

In a country where so many schools don't teach about sex (in my school, we learned what the reproductive systems looked like and watched a terrifying video of a woman giving birth...which, in retrospect, was excellent birth control) or teach students to wait to have sex (which of course always works...) and parents are often nervous to have the sex conversation and as a society we're pretty nervous about sex at all...it's no wonder our kids have questions. And if the schools aren't answering them, and the parents aren't answering them, kids either rely on the internet for answers or they ask their friends, who by the way also have no clue. And we all know how reliable the internet is...it's either the self-edited Wikipedia which may or may not have been edited by an equally clueless 7th grader, or WebMD, which is the place to go if you want to be convinced you have some kind of rare cancer or tumor or disease that no one has had in hundreds of years. 

So this teacher found a solution, which had kids asking honest questions. She framed it in a way that made them feel comfortable and she gave them a way to safely ask about stuff. Which is fantastic. Ignorance may be bliss, but it can also be teenage pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, among other unpleasantries. I applaud her efforts. I wish more young adults had someone they trusted and could turn to when they wanted to know about sex. Or drinking, or anything else that comes up. (I personally had an older brother and sister who were more than willing to not only answer questions but volunteer information. I was lucky. And in the minority.) 

And what do we do? We laugh. We post their queries all over the internet and mock them for their stupidity. Just great. Perfect. What better way to gain their trust, am I right? 

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