The One Thing Sex Educators Are Not Telling You About Sexual Health


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No more looking through outdated slide shows on a blurry projector in a dark room. Those days are almost over. And innovators are taking over. The motto of Grassroots Soccer pretty much says it all: Stop the spread of HIV. By creating this simple but powerful link between the game of soccer which, last time I checked is very fun and very popular and important information, Grassroots Soccer makes sex-ed engaging, fun, and less embarrassing. In other words, people they are comfortable with and trust. Grassroots Soccer has already reached 1. And just think about how many cases likely went unreported.

Without getting overly explicit, the program has a creative and powerful approach to teaching kids the meaning of consent. For example, in one exercise the children are put in pairs, and one walks towards the other until they feel uncomfortable, and they need to express that their personal space has been invaded. The teacher also debriefs how it is the responsibility of the person doing the approaching to obtain consent. Already the message has started to sink in: That means a major emphasis on sexting, posting sexual content online, and cyberbullying.

Starting in Grade 4 students will learn the risks of technology, and how their phones and computers can be used safely. In response to the lack of effective sex ed on college campuses, students at the University of Tennesse, Knoxville created an app called Hookup. The concept is simple. Students who download the app are able to anonymously ask sex-related questions, and an actual sex expert or Planned Parenthood educator will respond. The reality is that a lot of students, too embarrassed to broach the topic with trusted family members or doctors, often turn to Google for their sex questions, which can lead to a lot of inaccurate and confusing information.

Plus Hookup keeps things conversational and fun, using language and a tone students can relate to. Reach a Hand Uganda. In September, Global Citizen interviewed the founder of Reach A Hand Uganda , Humphrey Nabimanya, who shared the dangerous misconceptions about sex that he encountered when talking to young people in his country: Reach A Hand aims to empower young people with accurate information about sexual and reproductive health so that they can make informed decisions.

In China, many families consider it taboo to openly discuss sex with their children. Some parents even tell their children that they came from a rock, like the Monkey King, an old Chinese legend. Zhou Li wanted her son to know the facts and that sex was not something to be ashamed of, so she created an informational PowerPoint presentation.

Now Zhou Li has given her presentation to over 5th and 6th graders.

Texting has also proved to be a surprisingly useful tool. Some health departments and community groups in states like California and North Carolina have established services where teens can text their sex-related questions to a number and receive a texted response in 24 hours, allowing for anonymity.

Since the launch in May this year, there have been a total of , conversations. Should parents really cede sex education to the digital realm? Given that an incredibly high number of young people go to the Internet for information on sex anyway, directing them to quality material that appeals to their age range may be the one of the better ways to circumvent poor education at school.

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When we are watching movies together or discussing current events that may touch on this topic, we talk about it. Not all parents are prepared to go as far as Topham: In the age of Innocence vs.

Close those textbooks and find a lesson plan that actually works

I never learned how to have safe sex. If your kid has recently come out to you as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, there is a chance that you might feel a bit like a deer in headlights when it comes to approaching them with tips on safe sex. Between and , the average age of coming out dropped dramatically from 25 to 16, which means many young people are already out by the time parents would start talking with them about sex.

The more you know, the more open you can be with your child and the more open you can be about sex, the easier it becomes for your kid to talk to you about their questions and concerns. Here are the three main points to remember:. The earlier you start talking to your kids, the easier things will be for you later in the game, according to globally recognized sex expert Dr. This does not mean you have to have all of the answers, or that you need to be comfortable talking to your child about everything or telling them what you do sexually — just that you are approachable.

Second, they face the same risks; fluids are fluids are fluids, and sexually transmitted infections can happen to any sexually active human being on this planet. Inform yourself about ways to be safe when engaging in oral sex, anal sex and sex with toys.

We all have our own relationships to sex, and we also all have our own relationships to our children. It can be something that evolves over time, perhaps in a letter or over the course of several smaller discussions. Prepare yourself with information, and communicate in the way that you think will bring the highest level of comfort to both you and your child. Sometimes that means having a talk without actually talking. Oluremi, an out year-old whom we spoke to while researching our book, said her mother took a different route than most when approaching safe sex. Or hand them a copy of This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids with the safe sex chapter bookmarked shameless plug alert!

Or talk to them about your feelings on sex as much as you are both comfortable and then tell them to check out some of the websites listed in the main story. You can even make them read this article. The point is, you have options in how you approach this topic with your kid. When all is said and done, familiarizing yourself with the resources available and making them available to your kid is the critical piece of this sex-talk puzzle. Many teens say that they listen to their parents more than anyone else when it comes to practicing safe sex. How to talk to your kids about sex, intimacy and other awkward subjects.

Plus reliable, relatable sites to send them for more information. What kids should know at what age: As a parent, it can be tricky to know when to have The Talk, and how much you should bring up to your kids at what time. By the end of fifth grade , they should be able to define the process of human reproduction, and be able to describe puberty and how friends, family, media, society and culture can influence ideas about body image.

7 Things Sex Education Should Have Taught Us But Didn’t

By the end of eighth grade , kids should be able to explain the health benefits, risks and effectiveness rates of various methods or contraception, including abstinence and condoms and should know how alcohol and drugs can influence sexual decisions. By the end of 12th grade , students should know how to communicate decisions about whether and when to engage in sexual behaviors and understand why using tricks, threats or coercion in a relationship is wrong. For more detailed information, click on the NSES link above. Common Sense Media When it comes to advice and resources for healthy media and technology consumption, Common Sense Media is a one-stop shop.

Only two forms of sex education are taught in American schools: Abstinence-only sex education tells teenagers that they should be sexually abstinent until marriage and does not provide information about contraception. Among 48 USD states except North Dakota and Wyoming in their state laws and policies, 21 stressed abstinence-only sexual education and 7 emphasized that abstinence should be taught in their state's sexual education programs. Only 11 states require that students receive both comprehensive and abstinence education and 9 states did not mention any sort of sexual education in their laws and policies.

The difference between these two approaches, and their impact on teen behavior, remains a controversial subject. Proponents of comprehensive sex education, which include the American Psychological Association , [92] the American Medical Association , [93] the National Association of School Psychologists , [94] the American Academy of Pediatrics , [95] the American Public Health Association , [96] the Society for Adolescent Medicine [97] and the American College Health Association , [97] argue that sexual behavior after puberty is a given, and it is therefore crucial to provide information about the risks and how they can be minimized; they also claim that denying teens such factual information leads to unwanted pregnancies and STIs.

On the other hand, proponents of abstinence-only sex education object to curricula that fail to teach their standard of moral behavior; they maintain that a morality which is based on sex only within the bounds of marriage is "healthy and constructive" and that value-free knowledge of the body may lead to immoral, unhealthy, and harmful practices.

Within the last decade, the federal government has encouraged abstinence-only education by steering over a billion dollars to such programs. The impact of the rise in abstinence-only education remains a question. To date, no published studies of abstinence-only programs have found consistent and significant program effects on delaying the onset of intercourse. Congress found that middle school students who took part in abstinence-only sex education programs were just as likely to have sex and use contraception in their teenage years as those who did not.

According to Anna Mulrine of U. Virginia uses the sex education program called The National Campaign to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy. The Virginia Department of Health [] ranked Virginia 19th in teen pregnancy birth rates in Virginia was also rated The Healthy people goal [] is a teen pregnancy rate at or below 43 pregnancies per 1, females age 15— Sex education in Texas has recently become a policy of much focus in the state.

With the rise of recent protests and proposed bills in the Texas House, the current policy has been the focus of much scrutiny. As of , when Senate Bill 1 was enacted, Texas has left the decision of inclusion of sex education classes within schools up to the individual districts. The school board members are entitled to approve all curricula that are taught; however the bill has certain criteria that a school must abide by when choosing to teach Sex Ed. Additionally, school districts are not authorized to distribute condoms in connection with instruction relating to human sexuality.

Since the enactment of this policy, several research studies have been done to evaluate the Sex Ed Policy, namely the abstinence-only aspect of the teaching. Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools [] report where they found that:.

According to Texas State Representative Mike Villarreal, "We have a responsibility to ensure that our children receive accurate information in the classroom, particularly when students' health is at stake," Villarreal said. We cannot allow our schools to provide erroneous information—the stakes are far too high.

Scientific evidence accumulated over many decades clearly demonstrates that the abstinence-only-until-married AOUM curriculum taught in Texas schools is harmful and ineffective in reducing the adolescent pregnancy rate in Texas. In fact, the U. Some opponents of sex education in Catholic schools believe sex ed programs are doing more harm to the young than good. Opponents of sex education contend that children are not mentally and emotionally ready for this type of instruction, and believe that exposing the young to sex ed programs may foster the students with the preoccupation of sex.

The Catholic Church believes that parents are the first educators and should rightfully fight for their duty as such in regard to sex education: The Government of Victoria Australia developed a policy for the promotion of Health and Human Relations Education in schools in that was introduced into the State's primary and secondary schools during A Consultative Council for Health and Human Relations Education was established in December under the chairmanship of Dame Margaret Blackwood ; its members possessed considerable expertise in the area. Support services for the Consultative Council were provided by a new Health and Human Relations Unit within the Special Services Division of the Education Department of Victoria and was responsible for the implementation of the Government's policy and guidelines in this area.

The Unit advised principals, school councils, teachers, parents, tertiary institutions and others in all aspects of Health and Human Relations Education. In the Consultative Council recommended the adoption of a set of guidelines for the provision of Health and Human Relations Education in schools as well as a Curriculum Statement to assist schools in the development of their programs.

These were presented to the Victorian Cabinet in December and adopted as Government policy. In New Zealand, sexuality education is part of the Health and Physical Education curriculum, which is compulsory for the first ten years of schooling Years 1 to 10 but optional beyond that.

Sexual and reproductive health education begins at Year 7 approx. There are two opposing sides of the sex education argument amongst parents. Sexual liberals see knowledge on sex as equipping individuals to make informed decisions about their personal sexuality, and they are in favor of comprehensive sexual education all throughout schooling, not just in high school.

Sexual conservatives see knowledge on sex as encouraging adolescents to have sex, and they believe that sex should be taught inside the family in order for their morals to be included in the conversation. Sexual conservatives see the importance of teaching sex education, but only through abstinence-only programs. Another viewpoint on sex education, historically inspired by sexologists such as Wilhelm Reich and psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and James W.

Prescott , holds that what is at stake in sex education is control over the body and liberation from social control. Proponents of this view tend to see the political question as whether society or the individual should teach sexual mores. Sexual education may thus be seen as providing individuals with the knowledge necessary to liberate themselves from socially organized sexual oppression and to make up their own minds.

In addition, sexual oppression may be viewed as socially harmful. Sex and relationship experts like Reid Mihalko of "Reid About Sex" [] suggest that open dialogue about physical intimacy and health education can generate more self-esteem, self-confidence, humor, and general health. Some claim that certain sex education curricula break down pre-existing notions of modesty or encourage acceptance of what they consider immoral practices, such as homosexuality or premarital sex. A website which supports that view is the Coalition for Positive Sexuality.

Naturally, those that believe that homosexuality and premarital sex are a normal part of the range of human sexuality disagree with them. They may believe that sexual knowledge is necessary, or simply unavoidable, hence their preference for curricula based on abstinence. One major source of controversy in the realm of sex education is whether LGBT sex education should be integrated into school curricula. Studies have shown that many schools do not offer such education today.

Proponents of LGBT sex education argue that encompassing homosexuality into the curricula would provide LGBT students with the sexual health information they need, [] and help to ameliorate problems such as low self-esteem and depression that research has shown can be present in LGBT individuals. These education standards outline seven core topics that must be addressed in sex education; one of those core topics is identity. The identity topic presents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities as possibilities for students as they progress through life and come to understand who they are.

Creative approaches to sex ed from around the world

These standards, the Future of Sex Education argues, will start in kindergarten and will evolve into more complex topics throughout schooling as the students mature and age. Opponents often argue that teaching LGBT sex education would be disrespectful to some religions [20] and expose students to inappropriate topics. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For the book by Jenny Davis, see Sex Education book. For other uses, see Sex Ed disambiguation. Barbara Hastings-Asatourian of the University of Salford demonstrates "Contraception", a sex education board game played in UK schools. Sex education in India.

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Some schools don't even have formal sexual education, and others teach 1. It's normal to be interested in sex — or not. You're not weird if you're to be honest, so they can tell you how to stay healthy and protect yourself. But it's also likely that your sex ed curriculum was not licensed mental health therapist and certified sex therapist, tells Bustle. It also, on a more basic level, keeps you safe. The World Health Organization's definition of sexual health is . And sex ed isn't just a one-off, week-long thing you have to.

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1. There’s more to sex than biology

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