Why Sex Education Fails – Any Teen Will Tell You

The college aged and high school aged kids in my life wonder why politicians (and others) are so obsessed by the sex lives of others.

They say, “I bet the guys who are passing the oppressive laws against birth control and women’s health, and the LBGT community, partied hard in college, had sex with multiple partners, experimented, then went on with their perfect squeaky clean lives.”

They also say, “If you don’t believe in abortion don’t have one.”

AND most important of all (are you listening blind and stupid politicians) “If everyone had EASY access to birth control, with no limits on age, and no permissions required, then there would be fewer abortions.” 

Yes, if you cut back on birth control then you will never cut back on abortions both legally and illegally.

My daughter was telling me why sex education in high school and middle school didn’t work.

In middle school it didn’t work because one of the parents (ONE) complained. I believe it was a loud woman who donated a lot of money to the school. According to her, she and her child were the center of the universe. The child of course was completely embarrassed when the mother complained about having sex education in school taught by experts. So the embarrassed teachers had to teach the required course.

In high school my kids were taught abstinence only. Welcome to 1816. Yes, time travel is possible and happening right now in a state near you.

Plus the teens were taught be an uncomfortable wood shop teacher who could barely look the students in the eye when he said the word “pregnancy.” The only terms use were highly technical. The students didn’t learn anything about birth control and very little about STDs. Nobody told the teens about anything except the fact that birth control pills existed somewhere out there in the universe. They didn’t learn about all of the other forms, including easy to get over the counter solutions.

If you’re a parent please talk to your kids about sex. It is going to happen. Don’t expect them to wait until they are married. Remember this is 2016 not 1916, and even in 1916 people (a lot of people) had sex outside of marriage.

Get real. Be a real parent and tell your kids about STDs, birth control, relationships, responsibility in relationships. Don’t lecture. Just tell them the facts. Don’t bring religion or politics into it – because it is going to happen.

Tell your kids that sex is a two-way street. Tell them to NEVER do anything they are uncomfortable with. Tell them that if someone says “if you do this I’ll like you,” then don’t do what they want. Relationships are about sharing, not about only one person giving and one person just taking both physically and emotionally over and over and over.

Healthy relationships are responsible relationships. That includes birth control, protection from STDs, honesty, and respect.

Normal relationships and normal sex is not like what kids see in porn. Tell them that too.

Teens should also respect themselves. Tell your kids that it is normal to say NO. Yes, you can say NO, if you don’t want to have sex with someone. You can wait if you want. You can be on your own timeline. No young person should ever be pressured into doing something they are not physically or emotionally ready for.

Sex isn’t just physical. It is emotional. Talk to your kids about that too.

The point of this post isn’t to give teens and young adults permission to sleep around and hook up.

It is about accepting the fact that young people are going to do what young people do. Yes, we hope they will wait until they’re out of high school. We hope they’ll wait for someone they care about. We hope a lot of things. But even if they wait until college, and wait for a super nice and caring partner, they still need to be educated about birth control and protection.

They need to be educated about respect and responsibility.

Don’t be afraid to talk openly and honestly with your kids. If you don’t like abortions then you damn better make sure your daughters and sons are using birth control.

If you don’t like the idea that your young adult children are going to be sexually active one day then maybe you should have just had indoor cats.

If you want your children to be responsible then you have to be responsible parents and teach them about sex, birth control, STDs, relationships, respect, and trust.

That is what young people want and need.

If you ignore something it will not go away.

Those of you who have followed me for the long haul know this is a parenting blog. I talk about being a mom, teens, old folks, and other issues. Sometimes it is in the form of stories about my family or others. Sometimes it is just weird, but it all comes down to relationships we have with each other, and how we live our lives, especially when our children are concerned.

I’ll have the other stuff soon, but this is important. You have to talk to your kids – as a parent that is your job, no matter how uncomfortable you find it – and no matter how uncomfortable your kids find it. DO it. Talk. Now. Today.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

5 thoughts on “Why Sex Education Fails – Any Teen Will Tell You

  1. My parents didn’t teach me anything. My schools, just like you said, taught a very one-sided lesson about sex and blindly shouted the word, abstinence. It’s pretty crazy how very little adults will say to children about things that matter until it’s too late to say anything. Thankfully for my parents, even without the right guidance, at 24, I’ve kept myself on the straight and narrow road of marriage before sex, but even then, it would be nice to actually know stuff.

    When I had my first drawing class with nude models, I couldn’t even do my work properly. Looking at a man’s body, or even a woman’s was so strange to me and it made me feel self-conscious. I realized then that never having any kind of talk about the subject created this feeling of embarrassment. I was an adult then already, yet I had no understanding of the matter. (Even saying the word sex makes me feel uncomfortable when it shouldn’t.)

    My point is, ignorance can lead to regrets. I love your posts and was really fired up to comment on this one.

    • Even if you wait until marriage you still need to be educated on how your body works and about birth control. Please do that as a gift to yourself.

      That said, the human body is a beautiful and natural thing. Go to any art museum and you’ll see. There is no shame in how we’re made – even bodies that aren’t always perfect.

      The same goes for sexuality – not in art museums, but not being ashamed. It is just a natural part of life, not to be feared, but to be embraced with someone special – someone you can trust and love.

      You’re right ignorance can lead to regrets in so many ways – including by being afraid, or not being cautious enough.

      Thanks for dropping by and for your brave and honest comment.

      • Ah yes, that is also what I meant! Knowledge at any stage in one’s life is a powerful thing. It’s good to be educated regardless. I simply wanted to say that I learned a lot of things a little late in my life, I guess. And had to look for answers on my own.

        Thank you for replying back. ^^

Comments are closed.