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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:48 PM

Can we talk about sex-ed for adolescence?

We all want our children, when they grow to be adults, to be knowledgeable enough about sex to be able to enjoy the experience, right? Or do we?

Sex-ed is school is a bad joke. They get some of the “what” without any of the “how”. In other words, we give them the “basics” and then expect them to “learn the rest on your own”. How sane is that? Not very.

I was recently doing a “life review” and discovered that I still (even at 66 years of age) harbor resentment that I was so ill-prepared when it came to sex. I knew where everything went, but had to experiment to find out how to best get it there and how to make the experience for my partner at least as good as it was for me. In fact, the best sex-ed I got from porn novels.

Result? Lots of nervousness and clumsiness and anxiety, all of which diminished the “after-glow”.

Sure, most schools now at least teach how to avoid pregnancy and disease, but that is not enough. My question is, I guess, how can we prepare our children so they have good sex, not just safe sex? Is it prudishness or squeamishness that prevents us from explaining sex honestly with them? How do we prepare them for good sex without appearing to “encourage” experimentation?

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Reply Can we talk about sex-ed for adolescence? (Original post)
Viva_Daddy Nov 2012 OP
NickP Nov 2012 #1
GreenPartyVoter Sep 2013 #2
ehrnst Oct 2013 #3

Response to Viva_Daddy (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:19 PM

1. Agreed

I agree with you. Sexual education, especially in States where Abstinence Only education is implemented, is not only a bad joke but a health hazard. In those States, you see a rise in teen pregnancy and STD's in teenagers. The solution, I believe, would be to teach comprehensive sexual education. It is an in depth education that shamelessly teaches everything about sex, including diseases and ways to help prevent them and teaches them how to make healthy sexual choices. None of this "no sex until marriage" bullshit that teaches kids to "just say no" and teaches virtually nothing about actual sex.

As a 16 year old who lives in California, whose public schools teaches a mixture of Abstinence and comprehensive (But more leaning towards abstinence) I was shocked at the lack of information that was not being taught in the classroom, but that I already knew. After going through a HIFY (Health Initiatives For Youth) workshop on safer sex, I left thinking that this is the kind of thing we need to teach in the classroom, and ditch the old conservative ignorance about the reality of teen sex.

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Response to Viva_Daddy (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:46 PM

2. I supplemented the school teaching with two videos. One was

about how kittens are made, but it was actually very graphic. Think "Miracle of Life" the feline version. The other was a video about the difference of attitude towards sex in Europe as compared to America, to help counteract the bizarre American prudishness we have going on all around us. It included many graphics of statistics proving how unhealthy our attitude is, at least as far as which nations have the worst trouble with teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. (America, all across the board, of course.)

Son did not wish to watch them _with_ me, but he did watch them while I was not far away. And when he was done I asked him a few questions or commented on things so we could have a little discussion (and so I could see how much sunk in.)

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Response to Viva_Daddy (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:46 AM

3. My 10 year old is taking "Our Whole Lives" class at our UU church

They are thorough, confidential, factual, non-judgmental and co-ed.

They all talk about menstruation, body changes, masturbation, what is and is not appropriate body contact from adults and other kids, the sexual messages that they get from media/internet, what homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender mean, as well as safety on the internet.

When they are in 8th grade, they will get more age specific information, including drawings of people - disabled, older, varying body types, races, sexual orientations - making love.

The thing I really like, is that they send home assignments to talk as a family about various topics. What does family mean to us? How is our family like and different from other families? What are our values? What do we believe to be responsible behavior? What was puberty like for your parents? What do you look forward to about puberty? What are you not looking forward to?

Sex-ed like this doesn't teach values - it gives you the full range of information, and gives the groundwork for families to explore and reinforce values pertaining to relationships, sexuality and behavior in groups.

The book that we use is "It's Perfectly Normal" - and is an excellent starting point for discussion for an 8-11 year old.


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