Sex Education- outdated and full of denial

A poster found in science and health classrooms. The need for updated material is exponential.

Maddy Licea

A poster found in science and health classrooms. The need for updated material is exponential.

Maddy Licea, Editor in Chief

Let’s get uncomfortable. Sex ed, the dreaded requirement, is extremely outdated. Teaching abstinence is simply not enough when society has broadened. If schools do not educate students, they will turn to different outlets which give them false and/or bad information. The sex ed curriculum needs an update. 

The current system does not cover sexual relations other than heterosexual interactions. As society is changing, health classes should be as well. The lack of sources for teenage members of the LGBTQ community leaves them confused and uninformed. The Human Rights Campaign reported only 12 percent of schools had inclusive sex ed. 

Not only is it important to educate the LGBTQ youth, leaving them out empowers the idea that their sexuality is wrong. If schools can not be a safe place to encourage people to be who they please, then the American education system is failing. 

As society has expanded with the LGBTQ community, another prominent idea that has changed is the concept of marriage. 40-50 percent of marriages in the US end in divorce. While not all have kids, these statistics leave many children growing up in a home without a stable relationship to set an example.

Due to the increasing number of divorces —along with the simple fact that not all relationships are healthy — sex ed needs to teach teenagers what a healthy relationship is. When searching on Google “Toxic Relationships” the first question that appears is “what are the signs of a toxic relationship.” Sex ed should inform teenagers of the signs of a toxic relationship. Without it, teens and adults stay in relationships not knowing the potential abuse.

Not only is it dangerous to not teach teens what a stable relationship looks like, the system further fails teens by giving a skewed image of sex. Rather than accepting the fact that teenagers have sex, the system continues to preach abstinence. While classes do not need to give techniques, they should at least help students understand that sex is a part of life and they should just be safe. 

By making sex a comfortable topic to talk about, teens can avoid the taboo feeling and be safe without feeling ashamed. Sex should be taught as something an individual should enjoy and do because they want to. Denying it leads to teens making decisions they regret without knowing all the facts.  

Changing the view on sex would be extremely helpful to society with gender equality. It is no secret that if a female has more sexual partners she is considered a “slut” while a male with the same amount is encouraged and praised. 

The denying of sex has led males to look to porn for how sex should look. Rather than an empowering decision made by both consenting parties, the porn industry accommodates sexist ideas that are often dangerous. There are many ways to find “rape style” porn; it is time the sex ed curriculum teach why this is wrong. 

Senior Cienna Pangan feels this change in sex ed is necessary, “young men need to understand that sex shouldn’t be violent. Porn gives them unrealistic expectations and normalizes abuse,” Pangan said.

Sexist attitudes are shaped by porn by teaching young boys the idea that sex is for male enjoyment only. A BBC article even reported how young porn watchers are more likely to believe in male dominance, a dangerous and violent ideal. 

Sex ed classes should be encouraging the fact that females are allowed to have sex just as much as males. Preventing this conversation makes men think they are more entitled to sex than women. Rather than looking at sex as something to be ashamed of, empowering teens to control their bodies in a safe way is what is needed. 

It is simple, teenagers have sex. Rather than denying this, it is time the sex ed curriculum accommodate to all and empower teenagers to be confident in themselves while being safe.