On optimistic days I like to think that what I call “crisis sex education” is an imperfect movement away from abstinence based education in the sense it acknowledges kids are going to have sex regardless of what we tell them.
On pessimistic days I think the crisis approach is more damaging.
The move away from abstinence based sexual education (as far as I can surmise) came from a push to acknowledge that kids are going to have sex.
The problem is that the acknowledgment comes in the form of “if you’re going to have sex anyway, here’s how a condom works. The end.”
Comparatively speaking, I had great sexual education. I actually learned about the elusive female condom (though they never did show us how to actually use it. . . ) However, despite this relatively good education, I hated sex for a long time.
I remember my first boyfriend asking me “did you go?” the first few times we had sex and I just answered yes because it seemed like the correct answer. “Go where?” I thought. Eventually I figured out I was supposed to be feeling something that I wasn’t.
I thought my vagina was broken. I had no idea there was a female part of sexual intercourse that was supposed to be greatly pleasurable for me.
Courtesy of porn I “learned” about the female orgasm, merely in the sense that it existed and when I still could not achieve that apex of pleasure in my own sex life I quit trying to.
I could enjoy sex to a degree, but as for an orgasm, let’s just say I’m owed some recognition from The Academy for my performances.
I think this comes back to sexual education. The male orgasm is acknowledged as necessary for reproduction. This leaves the part of the female genitalia in intercourse as merely a tool to achieve male orgasm. This is frighteningly problematic because the fundamental idea becomes that a female is a tool for male pleasure and we subconsciously teach children this idea through arguably our most primal behavior. How do we not expect this sexism to carry over into other parts of our society?
If it is acknowledged kids are going to have sex, and that the sex they will be having is not reproductive in nature, then, in teaching the anatomy of both male and female genitalia, it is in the least negligent to only teach the biological reaction of one gender and not the other. I would further press it is not only negligent but completely sexist to not teach the female orgasm as a biological response to intercourse.
Personally, I think pleasure based sexual education (along with a discussion on contraceptives and abstinence) is the ideal sexual education. I also feel that the word “pleasure” brings too heavy a stigma to hit mainstream schooling (at this time).
However, if presented to schools as their responsibility to teach proper and scientifically based anatomy, I believe that it is possible to get this information to girls (and boys) while avoiding the stigma of seeming to promote sexuality in a place that society deems inappropriate.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this or read any links to articles you think are relevant.
Until next time ❤