Friday, July 21, 2006

Sex Ed., or Lack Thereof

Japruf wrote an interesting post yesterday (you might check it out before reading further, so you know what I'm talking about). It touched on a subject near and dear to my heart, the appalling lack of sex education to teens in school. I know this is a touchy subject, and we can go on and on about whether to preach Abstinence or Protection. But I think most of the women who read this blog (and hopefully some of the men, too) will agree that most of what we learn regarding how our bodies work, we most likely didn't learn in Health. How many of us sat in a classroom where the health class was taught by a man, and most often a coach? (I can only speak from the TX school system, so I hope those of you not educated in TX will chime in here.) It's like driver's ed....one of those classes the off-season coach gets to teach. That's not the point of this post, really, except to point out that most men don't really know how the female body actually works, so it's not really their fault that we don't learn it any sooner.

I guess my point is that whether you are on the Abstinence side or the Protection side, we can all agree that having all the information up front about pregnancy and STDs and the consequences of the choices you make is very important. I think it would help drive the point home that if you choose to mess around with sex and not protect yourself, you really are playing with fire. Granted, I think there is an age-appropriate time and place for learning this information, and I don't think my 7th grade health class would have been the best place. But, I think several of you out there would agree with me when I say that if I'd known in high school what I know now about the how wonderful and amazing 'machine' that is the female body works, and how finely tuned it has to be for everything to 'work' properly, I wouldn't have spent so much money on birth control over the past 10 years!

Another thing to point out is the fact that most of this information is a relatively recent discovery. I'd say within the last 100 years or so. Teen pregnancy is a sad but true reality, but the fact of the matter is that women have been having babies in their teens for centuries. 150 years ago, it was not uncommon for a woman to be married and have at least one baby before her 20th birthday. In fact, in certain societies, it was a social stigma to be un-wed after 20....you were deemed an old maid (the shame of it all!). Thank God we have moved past those times. But in light of the fact that kids are 'growing up' faster than ever, and have all of this information to learn and take in, we should keep up with the times and improve our methods and means of education.

11 comments:

angelq said...

I would have to agree with you. I can't tell you how many times I've found/figured out something new and said, "Geez, why didn't somebody tell me that?!?" See, and I just thought I hadn't paid enough attention in the "girls' class" in 4th grade. And I think the "sex-ed" in high school health consisted of one day in class where we watched a movie.

Pigs said...

I wasn't in TX, but ours was taught by a coach too. I mostly remember it being about the different STD's. Very exciting.

Bubba's Sis said...

I'm pretty sure our health class was taught by a male coach, too, but I can honestly say I have no recollection of it whatsoever. How sad is that! It either didn't make a big impression on me or my CRS Disease is kicking in. Let me put my age in perspective for ya'll - when I was in HIGH SCHOOL they were just learning about what AIDS is. I never learned about AIDS as an STD in school.

I couldn't agree with you more, katielady - kids today need to have the correct information, and sadly, they need it before 7th grade. Kids grow up too fast these days, and there are junior high kids getting pregnant now. And as parents, we should NOT just leave it up to the school to inform our kids - it is OUR RESPONSIBILTIY to give our kiddos the correct information!

cjh said...

I agree with that. It should be the parents' responsibility but all too often they don't do their jobs in many areas. Unfortunately many things fall on teachers/schools. We had the 5th grade girls class/boys class. I'm not sure what the boys learn. We learned about our "periods."

In high school we got no sex ed thru curriculum. I was Student Council president and tried to get the staff to let us bring in people to talk to us or do a sex ed week or something. I got told no...that would only encourage teens to have sex. Right...have you seen the pregnant girls around here? I think they've figured it out on their own. That's what you get in the country, I guess.

Bubba said...

I still don't know about a woman's body. Someone, please teach me!

Why not give kids all the facts. Kids are smarter than you think. Treat them like adults, maybe they will act like adults.

roxanne said...
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roxanne said...
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roxanne said...

I'm changing my last post a little bit because I didn't think it made much sense after I re-read it!


I'm about to sound like a dumbass (if I didn't already), but oh well... Speaking about how little we know about our bodies, a couple of years ago, I was wondering how many eggs dropped in a woman's monthly cycle. One or two? Instead of doing the smart thing and looking it up on the internet or asking my gynecologist, I did it the old fashioned way: asking around.

Funny thing - no one knew. No girls, no guys.

Then I asked my gynecologist. "One per month." And I have a bachelor's of science. I'm 26. Shouldn't I know this type of stuff about my period? How many must I have had by now?

Which brings me to my next point: as for it being the parents' responsibility, maybe this should be a job for a qualified professional. I don't think I'm qualified to teach kids about sex, hormones, contraception, STDs, family planning, abstinance, child birth, etc, etc. Why not have someone who is trained teach them? Maybe they should even be required to be certified to teach the class.

Bubba's Sis said...

Bubba, you are not allowed to know about a woman's body. It's for your own good.

Speaking of women not knowing their own bodies, I worked for an OB/GYN years ago and a woman called who had received her "yearly reminder" card to come in for a Pap smear. She insisted she didn't need a Pap because she had had a hysterectomy - her words to me were, "I don't even HAVE a vagina!" Hmmmm.....

Timmie Smith said...

Yup, a male coach taught our health class. Our small town was so conservative that he skipped the STD chapter and there was no talk of sex. So what did I learn in health? A lot about stretching and basketball.

In 9th grade biology we learned about the reproductive system and watched the child birth video. No discussion of how the kid got there to begin with, just a not so subtle, "girls, this is how you will screaming shortly after you have sex. Boys, this is a vagina, doesn't look like something you want to mess with, right?" Hooray for Texas Panhandle conservatives.

No one in my class got pregnant, but in my sister's class (the class behind us) had 7 of the 16 girls in the class get pregnant. Ridiculous.

Bubba said...

Tim Smith, that seems like a good way to get kids not to have sex.

I didn't have health in high school until I was a senior.