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America Needs Better Sex-Ed Classes! No, Really.


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Omg! :o Breaking news after 30 years: http://living.msn.com/love-relationship ... 6d&_nwpt=1

Newsflash to parents who want to keep their kids' mind full of innocence: if you don't like the material that public schools teach; put them in a religious school, or home-school them about sex and gender identity and issues (religious curriculum on sex-ed doesn't count!) . If not, you're depriving your kids of education.

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Omg! :o Breaking news after 30 years: http://living.msn.com/love-relationship ... 6d&_nwpt=1

Newsflash to parents who want to keep their kids' mind full of innocence: if you don't like the material that public schools teach; put them in a religious school, or home-school them about sex and gender identity and issues (religious curriculum on sex-ed doesn't count!) . If not, you're depriving your kids of education.

I think that it is abusive not to give children proper sex education. In an ideal world, parents would give the information. However, that doesn't always happen.

Because an unwanted child can potentially cost the public money, I think that society has a right to make certain that kids have proper sex education. We wouldn't listen to a parent who sent their child to public school and demanded that they not be taught math, why do we do the same with sex?

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Our school district, as far as I can recall, gave out accurate sex ed that gave us real information about preventing pregnancy and disease.

But even then, it needed to be more comprehensive,and also earlier. We didn't get the "Menstruation" talk until fifth grade... but in fourth grade, I had comforted a classmate who had NO idea what was going on and thought she was dying when her period began suddenly in school. We got the sex and relationships stuff as sophomores or juniors, depending on our schedules, and I knew of at least one pregnant eighth grader. We heard about how it's better to wait until you are married, but not about how we should have enough self-respect to refrain from sex until it was something we wanted rather than something we do to please our boyfriends.

I'm eternally grateful to my mom for always being honest and straightforward about sex. As far as I can tell, she was *unusual* in that regard and I think a lot of young people pay a steep price for parental cowardice.

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In my school, we had a pregnant sixth grader. Yes, you heard that correctly. I often wonder what happened to the girl. She was very sweet and shy without seeming sexually advanced. If anything, she didn't talk to many people. Now that I'm older, I wonder if she was the victim of sexual abuse.

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I had a pregnant classmates in 5th grade, but she had been held back a couple of times, and was 14 I think? Still very young to be pregnant, and likely the result of abuse.

I remember getting a basic "how babies are made" lesson in 3rd grade. They called it "family education" and it was pretty basic anatomy and biology. I mean really basic - girls have girls parts, boys have boy parts, and when a girl and a boy love each other they can have a baby, and the baby grows in the girl then comes out of her girl parts. Girls and boys were separated, and parents had to sign a permission slip. Kids who didn't participate spent that hour in the library. That was in VA in the 1989-1990.

We got more comprehensive sex ed in middle school (in NC), but it was a little late in the game. Again, girls and boys were separated, and parents could opt out. I had been wearing a bra for more than a year when we learned about puberty. I think we had the lesson on menstruation before I started my period. This was around the time Magic Johnson announced his HIV diagnosis, so we did have some talk about HIV, but it was mostly about casual contact (i.e. you can't get HIV from hugging someone). Thankfully my mom talked to me about that stuff before I started middle school, so I knew what was going on.

I went to high school in a district that offered comprehensive sex ed as part of 9th grade health/phys ed (also in NC, and they still teach it as far as I know). Parents could hold their kids out of those class sessions, but I wasn't aware of any that chose to. These classes were co-ed. We learned about sex, conception, pregnancy, birth, and STD's in a very scientific manner. I do not recall any considerable mention of contraception or STD prevention. In other words we learned that pregnancy and STD's are the direct result of sex, and that not having sex is the only 100% way of preventing both, but we did not learn about other options. I knew about oral contraception and condoms from TV/movies, and there were quite a few HIV story lines on TV at the time, but still not a great source. I was aware of at least one pregnancy per grade per year, but it was a big school and I only knew this kids in my classes (college prep and Advanced Placement) or extracurriculars (band, drama, Christian youth group). I was pretty sheltered, and it's very likely there were more pregnancies that I never knew about.

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Our school district, as far as I can recall, gave out accurate sex ed that gave us real information about preventing pregnancy and disease.

But even then, it needed to be more comprehensive,and also earlier.

This was my school. We didn't get any kind of sex ed until 10th grade (average age: 15). And even then, while given a comprehensive look at types of birth control and STDs, it was more clinical than anything. We had textbook definitions, but nothing else. We didn't get the real sex ed, complete with condom demonstrations until senior year (age 17-18). About 1/3-1/2 my class was sexually active by then. (I graduated in a class of 44 students, and many of us were partiers and we were all pretty open about sex, to say the least.)

I'm still kind of amazed that we had it at all. This was a small, rural school in a very conservative area, and no one's parents were fighting it or taking their kids out of class. Not a peep about evolution being taught, either. We had an excellent biology teacher who would never have put up with YEC nonsense. Makes me wonder why it's all such a BFD now.

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In my high school, we got a sex talk the last week of my senior year. They wanted to prepare us for what we might face in college. Sad thing is, about five girls sitting in the audience were pregnant and a handful had STDs.

In 8th grade girls and boys were separated and we had to have a "health" seminar. We were taught that sex was for after marriage but there are ways of prevent pregnancy if you choose to have sex before then. They didn't elaborate on the methods of birth control. They said ask your parents. :roll: And also in this health seminar the females learned about menstruation. A little late for many of us, especially me who started three months after my tenth birthday.

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Our school district, as far as I can recall, gave out accurate sex ed that gave us real information about preventing pregnancy and disease.

But even then, it needed to be more comprehensive,and also earlier. We didn't get the "Menstruation" talk until fifth grade... but in fourth grade, I had comforted a classmate who had NO idea what was going on and thought she was dying when her period began suddenly in school. We got the sex and relationships stuff as sophomores or juniors, depending on our schedules, and I knew of at least one pregnant eighth grader. We heard about how it's better to wait until you are married, but not about how we should have enough self-respect to refrain from sex until it was something we wanted rather than something we do to please our boyfriends.

I'm eternally grateful to my mom for always being honest and straightforward about sex. As far as I can tell, she was *unusual* in that regard and I think a lot of young people pay a steep price for parental cowardice.

That was also my experience, as I got the gender segregated puberty talk that parents could opt out from in the 5th grade, with sex education being about preventing pregnancy and disease in my sophomore year of high school. My mom was also honest about sex, and had that talk with us as needed. I've seen the effects of parental cowardice, as there were several girls in my high school who got pregnant before graduation.

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All you've got to do is look at the teen pregnancy rate in the US, and you can conclude that US sex education isn't very educational.

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The thing that really annoys me (in hindsight) was our first growing up/health talk about puberty and menstruation. It was in 4th grade and was gender segregated, but only the girls got the talk- the boys got to watch a movie in the gym. The next round of classes wasn't until 6th or 7th grade. At the very least they could have told the boys what to expect and how to be respectful of the girls who started going through puberty early. The boys teased several of the girls who developed breasts early and I think that having some information on what was happening and why might have helped the situation.

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All you've got to do is look at the teen pregnancy rate in the US, and you can conclude that US sex education isn't very educational.

:text-yeahthat:

For real, though.

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My sex education was adequate for the time but could use more information on birth control and information on what constitutes sex. We learned about bodily changes etc in the fifth grade. In middle school they taught us about sex, human reproduction. In ninth grade, they taught us to use condoms and do stay monogamous but stressed abstinence as the best way to protect against pregnancies and STDs. I don't object to that stance but the teachers never taught kids about oral sex vs vaginal sex vs anal sex. Many kids thought oral sex was not sex, and didn't realize anal sex required protection as well. Plus, many girls didn't know anything about other forms of birth control, only that they exist. I appreciated that our school gave us REAL data about the efficicacy of various forms of birth control, not some crap that abstainance-only education gives to students these days.

My SO and I both agree that we would be very open with our kids about sex. They will be given real medical information, not propaganda like what some schools do these days, and they will learn about sex and reproduction as soon as they are able to ask. I also don't believe in treating sex as a bad thing that only bad kids do. Our teachers in high school put it in the same category as drinking, smoking and doing drugs. It wasn't until later that I realize that drinking is not bad and neither is sex. Smoking and doing drugs is still bad tho'! :~)

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I think that it is abusive not to give children proper sex education. In an ideal world, parents would give the information. However, that doesn't always happen.

Because an unwanted child can potentially cost the public money, I think that society has a right to make certain that kids have proper sex education. We wouldn't listen to a parent who sent their child to public school and demanded that they not be taught math, why do we do the same with sex?

+1

The parents who want to keep their children's minds full of innocence need to wake up and smell the astroglide. It doesn't matter what you teach them, eventually they are going to find out about sex, and bodies, and what being horny means. The best way to keep them "innocent" is to keep them informed. That way they have the power and knowledge to make their own choices, and are armed with what they need to speak up when someone is hurting them. Ideally they get the information and safe adult to talk to from their parents, but the kids who have that at home aren't the ones with parents who are bitching about comprehensive sex ed and they aren't the ones the government is trying to step in and protect (because guess what, the parents who aren't bitching are already there doing it without the government stepping in.)

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When I was in elementary school, we had a couple of segregated sex ed sessions but they were called "health" and I naively believed that they were just about health in general (not in a bad way). It was good because the talk of menstruation and body odor just seemed completely normal to me. I remember somehow we even got on the topic of nose mucus so it all just became a normal part of life, like blowing your nose. However, the class was too late to help me because I had been having my period for almost a year by then. They really should move it to second or third grade instead of sixth grade. I thought it was pretty comprehensive for our ages.

In high school I had an actual "health" course. It did teach about birth control, but the teacher was a gym teacher and he had no idea what he was talking about. Abstinence was heavily pushed, and part of the course was also a scare story about how bad drugs, drinking, and smoking are. But again, this class was too late. It was junior year of high school and I had started having sex already, as had many of my classmates. Luckily I knew all about protection from various accurate sources.

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We didn't get the "Menstruation" talk until fifth grade... but in fourth grade, I had comforted a classmate who had NO idea what was going on and thought she was dying when her period began suddenly in school.

That reminds me of "Carrie". I am not saying they should be Carries but kids are growing up way too fast. No they can't stay innocent forever but I do believe there is a such thing too young to grasp oncepts. Kids are becoming aware of their bodies too early which is why we have 10 year old anorexics. Many factors are making them grow up too fast like family pressures and media images. And don't get me started on Purity Balls. I was glad I got to be a kid. The best time is what others say-when they start asking questions. In other words, don't push .

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That reminds me of "Carrie". I am not saying they should be Carries but kids are growing up way too fast. No they can't stay innocent forever but I do believe there is a such thing too young to grasp oncepts. Kids are becoming aware of their bodies too early which is why we have 10 year old anorexics. Many factors are making them grow up too fast like family pressures and media images. And don't get me started on Purity Balls. I was glad I got to be a kid. The best time is what others say-when they start asking questions. In other words, don't push .

I'm sorry that I grew up too fast by willing my period to start when I was 10 :roll:

Menstruation is a biological function and keeping kids ignorant of it won't make them mature slower. It should be talked about like any other body function, which means not in "polite" places but generally not taboo for kids of any age or gender. Teaching kids about menstruation and even sex is very different than purity balls and stuff like that.

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I went to school in Canada (Ontario) and we started sex ed in grade 5, which was mostly about puberty and physical changes. In grade 6 they started with birth control and STDs and progressed each year until grade 9 when my phys-ed teacher simulated what happens to the muscles in a female during orgasm with her hands. No one in my school was excused from sex end in any grade. I never heard of anyone being excused from it on religious grounds until university and i met a fundie lit girl who was excused for religious reasons but her mom was a teacher at her school (I assumed that is why it happened).

I never understood the idea that if you don't talk about it, kids won't do it. Teach kids about birth control and STDs and you might lower abortion rates by preventing pregnancies.

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That reminds me of "Carrie". I am not saying they should be Carries but kids are growing up way too fast. No they can't stay innocent forever but I do believe there is a such thing too young to grasp oncepts. Kids are becoming aware of their bodies too early which is why we have 10 year old anorexics. Many factors are making them grow up too fast like family pressures and media images. And don't get me started on Purity Balls. I was glad I got to be a kid. The best time is what others say-when they start asking questions. In other words, don't push .

Don't "push", but don't withhold information either. As you said, when they're asking is a good time, but the trouble I see is that children in extremely conservative families, where bodies are taboo, won't ask. They may have internalised a message that bodies are "wrong" by a young age, and feel uncomfortable asking any questions. I grew up in a liberal home, and in an environment that's rather matter-of-fact when it comes to sex, so I never felt uncomfortable asking anything. I was happy as a kid, and thought all of the biology behind making babies was just gross.

I do have friends whose background is quite different, but to me, it was just biology as a child. And gross. So, I'm very much in favour of providing age-appropriate information, without sexualising children, like the Duggars and their ilk do, when going on about modesty and defrauding. In my experience, children do understand biological facts, but trying to make them understand things like sexual attraction is a wee bit confusing. I got to be a kid, while knowing the facts of life. I don't see a problem in providing accurate information. I do see a problem in sexualsing children, which is precisely what fundies do.

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Sex ed at the school I went to in Utah had nothing to do with sex. We spent time making lists of activities to do on a date and making posters about not "petting" the other person while on a date. This was back in the late 90's.

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I went to school in Canada (Ontario) and we started sex ed in grade 5, which was mostly about puberty and physical changes. In grade 6 they started with birth control and STDs and progressed each year until grade 9 when my phys-ed teacher simulated what happens to the muscles in a female during orgasm with her hands. No one in my school was excused from sex end in any grade. I never heard of anyone being excused from it on religious grounds until university and i met a fundie lit girl who was excused for religious reasons but her mom was a teacher at her school (I assumed that is why it happened).

I never understood the idea that if you don't talk about it, kids won't do it. Teach kids about birth control and STDs and you might lower abortion rates by preventing pregnancies.

My experience with sex ed was pretty much the same, though they taught about kinds of drugs there somewhere. I remember a long list of different forms of contraception with a bunch of different facts on the side that I had to study for a test in grade 7. Have you heard about the religious parents in various parts of Ontario trying to pull their kids out of classes they disagree with? I hope they're not able too. I do think grade 5 was a little late to start, as I had already gone through all the changes they were teaching us about other than getting my period about a month after they had taught us about it shortly after I turned 11. So I think this sort of thing, and sex ed, should be taught before kids start experiencing it.

We were told abstinence was the only way to protect yourself 100%, but it wasn't presented as necessarily better or worse than anything else. We were taught how to respect ourselves and make our own choices in health class as well, I remember learning about healthy relationships at the same time I learned about contraception.

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Kids need to learn the facts about their bodies. I do agree with roddma though that they could stand to NOT have so much damn body image pressure so early, but that's a whole other discussion.

Learning about menstruation and safe sex? Great. Thinking you need to always be "hot" because you're a girl and will always be too fat for society's standards? Fuck that noise, at any age.

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I'll add, too - I have a serious problem with the way abstinence is taught as the only "100% effective" way to avoid pregnancy and STDs. That argument makes a fundamental math error, namely it is comparing statistics taken in HINDSIGHT with the statistics for other contraceptive methods which are calculated beforehand.

To properly compare the effectiveness of "abstinence" with other methods (condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, whatever) you need to compare like to like, which means that you need to start with a population of people who start the year (or whatever observation period) promising to rely on abstinence as their contraception method. At the END of the observation period, you count up how many of them got pregnant or STDs.

That means that all the people who set out to be "abstinent" but then give in in the heat of the moment are properly counted as FAILURES OF THE METHOD. That's a failure of abstinence just as "oops, it broke" is a failure of condoms.

Compared that way, abstinence doesn't look so good.

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The thing that gets me about "abstinence only", is that it seems to assume that once you're married, it's all good. I caught the tail-end of the AIDS panic as a teen. So, to me that implication is a huge no-no. Trust is great, in my generation, condoms and STI tests are better.

eta: I know how to use punctuation, sort of.

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I'll add, too - I have a serious problem with the way abstinence is taught as the only "100% effective" way to avoid pregnancy and STDs. That argument makes a fundamental math error, namely it is comparing statistics taken in HINDSIGHT with the statistics for other contraceptive methods which are calculated beforehand.

To properly compare the effectiveness of "abstinence" with other methods (condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, whatever) you need to compare like to like, which means that you need to start with a population of people who start the year (or whatever observation period) promising to rely on abstinence as their contraception method. At the END of the observation period, you count up how many of them got pregnant or STDs.

That means that all the people who set out to be "abstinent" but then give in in the heat of the moment are properly counted as FAILURES OF THE METHOD. That's a failure of abstinence just as "oops, it broke" is a failure of condoms.

Compared that way, abstinence doesn't look so good.

Ah, the way I was taught was that if you don't have sex (of any kind) you can't get pregnant or get STDs, but if you feel that it's the right time for you to have sex then here are a bunch of methods of protection that work pretty well, and that's okay to. So it depends what you mean by abstinence, and how your frame it. You can be sexually active for a few months or years or whatever, and then decide, or by circumstance, abstain from sex for a while, and that's still abstinence. So the "method" wasn't really described in my sex education course as something you pledge to and then stick to for a set period of time, more as how you describe any time period when you're not having sex, and a choice like any other, where you can change your mind at any time. If you don't have sex, there is a 100% chance you won't get accidentally pregnant, so it really depends if the teachers attach a judgement. Most teens who pledge to be abstinent until marriage tend not to get any contraceptive sex education so when they decide being abstinent doesn't really work for them, they tend not to know about their options.

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