• invalid-0

    Christopher, thank you for writing this insightful and interesting article. I think you’re looking ahead to what sexuality education—and sexuality awareness in general—will become in the future, decades down the line. (I believe that some exceptional programs may already be where you envision, like the UU Church’s OWL program, but obviously that’s not the rule today.)

    I especially wonder about this in light of the attitude in Europe, where the phenomenon of (older) teens engaging in sex is viewed not as “Oh my God, we’ve got to stop this!” but more as “Yes, as long as they do it responsibly, they’re experimenting and learning how to become good lovers, and that’s perfectly healthy.” I hear Jodi Jacobson rattling off statistics to combative ab-only advocates about how comprehensive sex-ed programs delay initiation as a metric of their effectiveness, and while I have immense respect for her and her position, I can’t help but wonder if that metric alone is missing something about what we ultimately want to achieve.

    There’s certainly a lot of ground to cover as far as basic sexual health and autonomy is concerned, without getting into the fuzzier subject of helping our young people to have a healthy and fulfilling sex life as they see fit—helping people in general to become better lovers. But I often wonder what the farthest iteration of these efforts would be, even if mass media would rather keep everyone in the dark, even though a huge and politically viable sex-negative constituency exists, even though we would likely not see it achieved within our lifetimes. If for no other reason than to stay motivated, knowing that there’s still a loooong way to go before we can claim victory :-]

  • invalid-0

    As is typical with America’s crisis-oriented mentality, our nation has tended to treat sexuality education as though sexuality only starts at puberty. Not true – as every child is sexual from birth and usually discovers that the genitals feel good around toddlerhood. (My little boys used to call it ‘fishing and rolling’!- all I said was – that it was a private behavior) But we rarely help parents deal in healthy ways with their child’s developing sexuality until they hit the teen years when the kids are least likely to listen. When my children were little, we learned the proper names for all the body parts and didn’t stop at the waist. I’ll never forget my 3 year old sitting on the toilet, singing, “Vagina, rhymes with Carolina!” I had all the books on how you were born on the lowest shelf and we read them as bedtimes stories. My children would share them with their friends – and when they reached their teens years we were still talking and reading and sharing. And not just sex – all the other things too. It does work…now they’re married with children of their own and still talking and sharing – and that’s how life should go on.

  • http://datemeoff.info invalid-0

    For the last 12 years (thanks to President Clinton and President Bush) the main way schools have educated teens to prevent STDs and pregnancy has been abstinence. I don’t think that’s been working. It looks like that may finally change with the Responsible Education About Life Act (REAL) being considered in congress.

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