Let’s (Actually) Talk About Sex
Sexual Education could have either been your favourite or least favourite class of the week, all depending of course, on your ability to make dick jokes. Grainy videos from decades gone by, depicting kids learning about their changing bodies and crash courses on how to use deodorant are common shared memories, and who could forget the highly anticipated lesson on fitting a condom on a banana? This is the high level of education we are gracing our children with. Years go by and it quickly becomes apparent that the education wasn’t as comprehensive as once thought. High-school Sex Ed is a slight improvement and sees the mention of these things called STI’s (sexually transmitted infections) but most of the lessons are just the same as the 90’s films we saw in primary school. The education system can’t seem to find an appropriate age to actually be teaching safe sex. A condom clad banana and a brief mention that you could get an STI was all that was provided, not preparing students for the sexual world, and even less so, the world of safe sex for LGBTQ kids.
Heterosexual interactions seemed pretty straightforward, teachers hinting to wear a condom; but without even the mention of orientations that stray from a man and a woman, how could
questioning kids even guess at what other types of safe sex could look like between say, two women? This lack of education sees many LGBTQ children growing up into LGBTQ adults who don’t know the practices of safe sex in their own relationships. It is this lack of education that contributes to larger-scale problems, like the HIV/AIDS epidemic that effected both hetero- and homosexual people in the 80’s.
Sex should no longer be a taboo subject; it is has caused topics such as STI’s (and those who have them) to become demonised by mainstream society, those who suffer become shunned by those around them, and are not being treated as any other person with an infection would be. Introduction of LGBTQ subject material into the sexual education system has been met by some saying that it is “sexualising our children”, but I disagree. All it is doing is providing our children with the information they need in order to explore their sexuality in a safe and healthy way, not just LGBTQ children but heterosexual children as well. An overhaul of the system is needed for children of all sexualities, education leads to both prevention and understanding; we need to eradicate the taboo cloud which currently hangs over the debate.
A Sex Ed system overhaul is badly needed for children of all sexualities.
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