A Summary of my Formal Sex Education:6th Grade Science Class:
Amanda wrote:My most vivid memory from my public high school's sex ed curriculum was a slide show with pictures of STI-infected genitals. We didn't learn about contraceptives/barriers-- I never even held a condom in my hand until college. We didn't learn about consent, or communication strategies, and I can't help but wonder how my teen years would have been different if my school's sex ed was more like Scarleteen.
I'm doing a research project about sex education, and I'm curious about Scarleteen users' and volunteers' experiences with sex education in school. What was taught, and how? What do you wish you had learned?
I learned about the male and female anatomy, as well as puberty. At the time, I had not reached puberty at all yet, because I was only 10, going to 11. My male classmates did not reach puberty either, and many of them could sing very high notes in choir class. During this time at home, my parents had bought me a little children's book on human reproduction. It covered the basics. Sperm meets the egg, and out pops the baby from the womb of love!7th Grade Health Class:
I had a general health class. I learned about eating disorders, nutrition, drugs, alcohol, and sex. The usual health-related stuff.8th Grade Health Class:
Basically, the same thing as the 7th grade material but a bit more in-depth. Sex education became more in-depth at this point, but knowledge about all the anatomical parts related to sexual function or the human sexual response cycle did not come until the high school summer health class. 9th Grade English Class:
I read the rape novel, Speak
, for school. It was about a girl who was raped and could not speak for a whole school year. After reading, the class invited the school policeman over for a talk about rape and giving consent. In a Physical Education course, students were taught how to fight back for defense in case they were physically or sexually assaulted. Between 9th Grade and 10th Grade:
I took a high school level general health class, because I thought I needed it as one of my required courses for high school graduation. Because it took place over the summer, there was likely a lot of stuff that had to be cut from the course. What was most memorable in that class was the highly detailed sexual anatomy of both men and women. I learned about erection and ejaculation and the human sexual response cycle too. And of course, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and contraceptives were covered. Like I said, it took place over the summer, so the class had to be cut to the essentials; so, even though I learned about the existence of contraceptives, I didn't know how to use them. But then, I didn't care anyway, because I thought there was no way I would ever have sex. Celibacy - whether voluntary or not - kept me from undesirable situations. Sometime during High School:
I discovered sex positions. I remember looking at the sex positions for the first time on Wikipedia, and that first impression just glued itself in my mind. Sometime during University:
I discovered that there were actual movements during sex. Sex acts were not as static as I once had imagined. Obscene sexual materials (namely pornography) actually taught me that the penis had to go in and out of the vagina many times in a process called "thrusting". By this point, I knew all there was to know about sex without actually having sex at all.
Out of all the knowledge, I have to say that the pornographic sexual knowledge may be the most useful and practical. At least I will know what to expect when I am sexually ready!Some Things I Learned Largely Outside of Class:
1. Homosexuality, or generally, LGBTQIA-related issues.
2. Sex positions.
3. Practical sexual knowledge, like knowing how to "thrust" or why men "thrust". The physiological reason behind thrusting may be useful and interesting.
4. Sexual subcultures, fetishes, and paraphilia. Sexuality and the law. Abnormal psychology and sexuality, like the touchy issue "gender dysphoria".
Number 1 and 4 are hugely complicated, and I will not be surprised if each of them cannot fit succinctly into a middle school/high school curriculum.
Number 2 and 3 may be very useful and interesting topics to be added in a sex ed class.
I am glad that this thread has given me the opportunity to describe my sexual education. I hope it's going to be useful in some way, even though my sexual education was really gained during the mid-2000s, from 2001 to 2008, when I was a teenager.