Sex education proves necessary

Meredith Siegel and Meredith Siegel

As a kid, talking about sex anywhere near an adult is very uncomfortable. There is a feeling of “I don’t want to be having this conversation now, or ever, so I’m just going to try to get it over with as fast as possible.”

This doesn’t create an open dialogue where kids can ask their parents questions about sex or bring it up when they feel like they’re ready for it.

It’s super important that we change this and make sex education, at home and at school, comfortable and comprehensive for all children. Abstinence only education may prevent some teens or adults from having sex before marriage, but it is safer for everyone to make sure they are able to have sex safely.

Sex isn’t a bad thing, and it shouldn’t be treated as such. If we can change the cultural conversation around sex, we give people the tools to take care of their bodies and navigate their sex lives safely. Girls deserve to know what is typical for their sex organs, but I don’t know anyone who was taught the ins-and-outs of what should be going on down there. Boys should know what’s normal to them, too.

It’s also super important that we cover all kinds of sexualities and the intricacies of gender. If sex education isn’t inclusive, then it is still missing all kinds of people. Sex education is meant to educate, and if it’s not reaching its entire intended audience then something needs to be changed.

One of the most positive outcomes of better sex education is that it helps prevent rape. You won’t find many people who support rape. The vast majority of people will say that rape is heinous and unacceptable. Yet, there is still a basic misunderstanding of what rape is.

This basic misunderstanding that rape isn’t just men jumping out of bushes because their sexual desire is so strong they can’t control themselves leads to rape culture.

This is a term most of us have heard, but it still gets dismissed. Rape culture exists because people dismiss what actually causes rape, and when the rape isn’t necessarily violent (but still very much violating and traumatizing) we might not even consider it rape.

Rape culture exists because when a young boy with promise rapes someone he is let off the hook. Rape culture exists because there is still a belief that boys can’t be raped, and girls can’t be rapists.

If we are all taught at a young age what sex, consent and rape are, then there will be fewer complicated situations where maybe the rapist thought they had consent when their partner didn’t say no. More in-depth sex education will help everyone get the tools they need to be safe in potentially dangerous situations, and it will change the culture surrounding how we talk about sex.

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