Why Comprehensive Sex Education Is the Way to Go

In the first part of this series, we looked at the history and some of the major failings of sexuality education. Now I want to highlight what works, and in which direction society should be heading to better global sexual health.

A standardised, national sex education curriculum is a rare beast indeed, and therein lies the root of the problem. Adolescents the world over would greatly benefit from accurate and reliable information, no matter where or who they are, and we simply aren’t stepping up to provide what should frankly be the bare minimum. Read on to learn why comprehensive sex education is the way to go.

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The Unfortunate Reality of Sex Education

Sexuality education is one of my biggest passions. Friends at school would often come to me for advice, as the “wise” and “experienced” one of the group. I remember being surprised at how much misinformation was out there among my peers, and soon realised it was due to a few key things – their parents and other adults weren’t forthcoming with information; they learned almost everything from other kids (who had no idea) and from the internet (read: porn), and the sex education classes at school were abysmal. All I can remember of sex ed was being shuffled into the library with all the girls in my year, a diagram of the female reproductive system shown briefly by a highly embarrassed woman we’d never seen before who rushed through the basics, slapped a condom on a banana, then rushed out the door before we had the chance to take it all in. Enter the unfortunate reality of sex education.

 

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My First Proper Date With a Woman

Sexuality has never been a big deal for me. Growing up, my mum dated women and men at different times, and I understood from a young age that sexuality is fluid. I have always identified with pansexual (attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity) because I’m attracted to a person for who they are and how they make me feel – full stop. But I only went on my first date with a woman at the ripe old age of 25.

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Sex at Dawn: A Review

“A reasonable relaxation of moralistic social codes making sexual satisfaction more easily available would also make it less problematic.”

Sex at Dawn (2010) by Cacilda Jethá and Christopher Ryan.

I have always been a questioner. Growing up in a very non-traditional family set my curiosity antenna on high alert from the get go. While my friends’ nuclear family settings held some small appeal to a very young me, every year more and more parents were divorcing, tearing families apart. Meanwhile, my mother was a constant. Her partners came and went, and I formed strong bonds with each of them. I would even go so far as to tack their surnames onto mine while mum was with them, and think of them as secondary parents. I am happy to say that I count several of them among my close friends and role models in adulthood.

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Introduction to Informed Consent

At once in the spotlight and severely overlooked is the notion of consent. In this case, consenting (or not) for sexual acts to be done to you or by you. Consent inherently implies permission and agreement – it sounds serious, and it is. But there are ways to incorporate it into your sexual routine that don’t require a contract. Let’s dive into the world of informed consent.

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