Sex: the subject you didn’t learn in school

A collage of tweets from J.K. Rowlings twitter.


A collage of tweets from J.K. Rowling’s twitter.

In school we are told that drugs are bad and that we should stay away from them; we dedicate a whole week where teachers have to find a way to integrate this topic into their teaching curriculum. If drugs and their negative effects are being discussed so openly amongst schools, why isn’t the same level of awareness being given to other subjects that are just as taboo? For example, why don’t we have a week where we talk about safe sex or the lack thereof? As mentioned earlier, sex is one of the most risque subjects to be talked about on school grounds, yet this topic is probably one of the most broad and deep topics existing in our modern culture. Even though it’s been normalised by various mediums, such as music and writing, this topic is apparently too much to be discussed during class time.

Middle College High School, along with other high schools, doesn’t have a Sex Ed program, and this is a problem. The problem with this is that students aren’t given the chance to talk openly and question any ideas they might have about sex. It’s very easy to be misinformed about sex when you have friends who are having sex and each give different advice. We are still teenagers, and it’s important to have that grownup figure talking to us about sex and warning us about the dangers of unprotected sex.
Even though this subject is one that’s not the most comfortable to talk about, that doesn’t mean that it should be completely ignored. Instead schools, such as ours, should promote the ideas of safe sex through various campaigns, such as, but not limited to: optional classes discussing safe sex, handing out information on birth control, or even just spreading the word on condoms. By practicing safe sex, not only are you lowering the chances of pregnancy, but the risk of sexually transmitted disease and HIV are lowered by 75 percent. In most high schools, there are condoms located in the nurse’s office and multiple posters and/or around school promoting safe sex. For as long as I’ve been at Middle College, I can confidently say that I have never seen at least one poster promoting safe sex or awareness towards HIV and STDs.
I conducted a survey where I asked 50 students the same five questions regarding sex. I asked, What’s the big deal about sex? What do you know about safe sex? What’s something that our school could possibly teach about safe sex? Why do you think our society is more comfortable talking about drug use than sex? and finally, Do your parents talk to you about sex? It was interesting to see some students shy away from answering my questions even though they were told it would be anonymous. As I ask myself why teenagers might feel embarrassed, I easily remember that we are told to not talk about certain actions in school or in a public environment.
Sex isn’t just physical, but also emotional, and it is important to learn about when to be ready for the effect that sex can have on one’s state of mind. In the survey I conducted, most students said that the big deal about sex was that it was a big step to take for a relationship while others said that there didn’t have to be an emotional connection to the sexual act itself. When in a teenage relationship, there can be a lot of pressure to have sex or perform other sexual activities. Sex can be tricky, but it is something that everyone should be careful with and I feel that the more we know about it the more we are able to accept it as part of something natural.