Wednesday, 11 January 2017

SEX ED MATTERS

So I just wrote a thread on Twitter about sex ed and why it matters, after seeing this huff post article. I don't event want to get into the fact that, as the article states, 3 QUARTERS OF YOUNG PEOPLE BELIEVE SEX AND RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION WOULD MAKE THEM FEEL SAFER, and the fact that the government have just completely disregarded this. Tories one and all x

Anyway. Sex ed, and education on relationships, matters a hell of a lot both to me and in general. Sex isn't some massive taboo; sex is completely natural, and most of us do it, and if not - cool, that doesn't make you abnormal or wrong or strange, and you should be taught that it's completely okay not to have sex, just as it's completely okay to have sex. And to (gasp) enjoy it. And to (double gasp) do it with whoever you like, as long as both of you are consenting adults.

The thing is, when kids and teenagers spend 6 hours a day 40 weeks a year in school - you've gotta be teaching them the important things. Maths and geography and the arts, they all matter; but so does life. So do the experiences that lie beyond the classroom, like taxes and ironing and sex. And it can be awkward to talk about sex with your parents, and if they're not around it can be even more difficult to find someone to talk to; people are so often left in the dark with questions, asking their similarly unexperienced mates or turning to google where, let's face it, the advice is confusing at best.

If you bring sex education into the classroom, into the assembly hall or the corridors or wherever - you're normalising it, and that's what we need. We need less stigma around sex, around STIs, around asexuality and sex-work and contraception, around unwanted pregnancies and homosexuality and body hair. We need to talk about sex, about how to keep yourself safe, about what options are available in whatever situation you might find yourself in before/during/after sex.


And we need to talk about relationships; how to treat people with respect, how to look after yourself in a relationship, how to recognise signs of abuse. We need to talk about boundaries and self-care and love, about friendship and trust and happiness, about communication and family life and health.

Why do we not seem to want our young people, our future leaders/actors/sportspeople, to be safe and happy and healthy and well? Why do we not want them to know that it's okay to have sex, or not to have sex; it's okay to talk to people about sex; it's okay to ask for help if you feel unsafe in certain situations; it's okay to identify outside of the heteronormative sphere; it's okay to tell people what you like and don't like, and what you want, and what you need.

The sex ed schools have right now is far from perfect, but the fact that it's there at all is something we can't take for granted. I had to get this stuff off my chest more coherently than Twitter allows for but if you feel as though I've missed something out, please let me know. Also, sorry to self-promote but my girlfriend and I did a youtube video RE: questions people have about girl-on-girl sex and if you want to watch it, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHR0BRUe6cI&t=2s


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