Again, I feel like I say this a lot but, it feels like it has been a while since I’ve sat down and just written. So, today I want to talk about something that is kind of controversial (okay maybe really controversial). I was originally going to talk about identifying insecurities in yourself and how to combat it, but this topic seemed more interesting and I want to save the topic of insecurities for a video blog. So, my topic for today is why I feel schools should start teaching sex education more and way better.
I remember in middle school in sixth grade, we were separated into boys and girls and each group was sent to different rooms to watch a video about puberty. I could tell by just looking around that no one was paying attention, and no one cared. At the time, I wondered why no one paid any attention because this was stuff that was important to know. But, there was also that the video was poorly made and so no one took it seriously. Fortunately, my mum had got me one of those books on puberty with those awkward drawings and kind of awkward advice but it was really informative (I’ll link the book my parents got me down below). So, I considered myself lucky that I was so informed as compared to my ignorant classmates, who giggled everytime the p-word came up. Though, to be fair this was back in sixth grade.
At the end of the video, the teacher supervising said that in eighth grade we would be watching another video on safe sex and protection. It never happened.
My parents never gave me the dreaded “Talk” because they always believed in abstinence until marriage. So, I never knew about birth control pills and the other types of contraceptives available for young teenage girls. It was pure idiocy to believe that you could get away with practicing sex without some sort of protection and yet, a lot of people I knew believed that. Of course, in high school we learned some things, but it wasn’t enough to be completely informed about all the risks.
I learned a lot of this through research because I am not one to take unnecessary risks because I was too lazy or because it was too embarrassing. It is important to know.
A lot of parents often feel uncomfortable talking about this subject, but it is really important to be transparent about this topic in particular. You do no one a favor by keeping your child ignorant of something like this.
My advice to starting a conversation about this is to start with asking them about what they know and don’t know and fill in where they are lacking. Here’s a list of questions to cover a general spectrum of ideas (some are gender specific so be careful about what you ask):
- What do you know about the female/male anatomy?
- What do you know about practicing safe sex?
- What do you know about contraceptives? (and parents even if you don’t want to contemplate the idea of your kid having sex at all, please have your child get some sort of IUD or pill or even have some form contraceptive available-because it’s better to know that they are practicing safe sex over not knowing at all what your child is upto until it is too late)
- What do you know about STDs?
- Give general advice about how your child should abstain from sex in general lol.
So, final thoughts. I think that schools do their students a great injustice when they allow them to be ignorant of safe sex and puberty. This is a topic that will never be ‘comfortable’ to talk about but it is a must. I wish that I had been given the talk and had access to contraceptives like birth control pills just for the reassurance, that safety net.
Puberty Book– This book is one that was created by the American Doll brand and they have a lot of self care, teenage help books for girls.