They Need All the Information We Can Give Them...

Admittedly, this may be a little out of date now as I left high school almost six years ago, but the sex education in my school was really appalling.

 

I'm English, so please bare with me while I struggle to equate ages with 'years' on behalf of people who work on the 'grade' system.

 

The first lesson that I had which was called "sex education" really wasn't.  I was a Year 6 at the time so I would have been around eleven or twelve and we were taught about why little girls had periods and why little boys had wet dreams.  Not really useful, as I know that I had started having periods at about the age of ten, as I expect a few of the other girls would have too.  Sex, of any kind, even in the sense of "how babies are made" was not mentioned.  All that was mentioned was that periods were healthy as they showed that a girl was able to have babies.

 

The first proper "sex education" that described how babies were made came when I was in about Year 9.  This would have meant that I was thirteen or fourteen.  My form was particularly noisy and badly behaved, so the teachers deemed that we were too immature to learn everything.  We were just told about changes a person went through during puberty and how babies are made.  Nothing graphic.  Nothing to really talk about sex itself or its consequences.  Just ***** + egg = baby.  This wasn't greatly useful, as by the age of fourteen most of the members of our class were sexually active.

 

It wasn't until year 11 (aged around fifteen or sixteen) that we finally learned about sexually transmitted diseases and how life changing having a baby was.  Condoms, or other forms of protection were never given at our school.  It was not until I went to University that these kind of things (as well as advice about going for chlamydia screenings and such) was made available to me.  My high school just worked on the assumption that "We'll tell them at the age of sixteen that having sex gives them diseases.  That'll stop them, as there's no way that any of them will have had sex earlier because it's illegal".

 

This point of view is just stupid.  From about the age of thirteen (sometimes earlier) kids become curious.  They start to change physically and emotionally.  They hear about the joys of sex from their friends and TV and want to see for themselves.  You can't stop them from trying - any attempt to do so will just make them want it more.  The best thing we can do is educate them from an early age and make sure that protection is available to them, even if they are "underage".  If they are going to do it anyway, it's best to make sure that they are at least safe.

 

Before I get any of the flames about how you did not receive any education and were alright, let me just tell you that I was the same.  I've already stated how old I was before I got all the facts.  After this, I did not loose my virginity (or engage in any kind of sexual foreplay) until I was 19.  And now I'm 22 and have only ever had one sexual partner.  Yeah, some people do listen and just don't do it until they're ready.  But not everyone's as patient and sensible.  You've really got to take these people into account when you're teaching sex education.

Ryuuzaki Ryuuzaki
22-25, F
4 Responses Feb 18, 2009

Heh. I remember talking to my mother about contraception because I was looking for alternatives as the combined pill made me ill. I think it made her very uncomfortable. I think parents should really talk to their kids about this kind of thing though. I remember assuming that a period was some sort of disease as a kid as bleeding just isn't a good thing, and no body told me otherwise until I started...

My Mum taught me about periods and sexual mechanics when I was about 8 or 9, she drew diagrams! - I think it was because I was reading young adult books where girls got their periods and I didnt understand - I remember asking her what rape was because I had read it somewhere. But we never had a talk about STI's or contraception that I remember until I was quite a bit older, maybe 15 or so. Though yes, I didnt really have boyfriends - when I started going out with Max she sent me a box of flavoured condoms though!!!

I agree. Schools really are the best places for kids to learn about this. I know that a lot of parents seem to be uncomfortable about talking with the kids about sex. I never got a 'birds and the bees' talk from my mother, though I know she talked to Monkey about it. I always assumed that it was because I never had a boyfriend before University though, while Monkey has.

Heh I wrote such a massive post in response to this that Im pasting it as my own story!<br />
Basically most of my sex education was pretty good - especially compared to yours which seems a little woeful! But there is always a need I think for good clear information as schools are often the only place a teenager can access the information in an unbiased and honest way.<br />
Its a hard subject for a lot of parents and even they might not be aware of the options avaliable and what sort of information is actually required.