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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » Does sex ed have to be "vulgar" to be effective?

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Author Topic: Does sex ed have to be "vulgar" to be effective?
Karybu
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There's a big sexual health conference happening in Australia this week, and this piece of news from the conference has popped up in my email/facebook/twitter several times today: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/2013/10/24/01/10/jokers-give-boys-vulgar-sex-education

Basically, a researcher is suggesting that sex education for boys should be in the format of sexualized jokes, because guys don't like talking about relationships or sexual behaviour in a serious way.

I'm inclined to disagree, and I feel like the creation of a gender divide here is really problematic, but I'd be interested to hear what you all think of the idea.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Heather
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You know, I adore Alan, both as a person and a researcher, but I have to disagree with him here. (Or with how what he's putting forward is being presented by the media. For instance, he may be talking expressly about a specific population in Brisbane for whom this is true: who knows. Though honestly, I'd be pretty shocked to hear him NOT be specific and generalize around gender like the story is going: that just wouldn't be like him, IME.)

But if one is to generalize, this has so not been my experience in 15 years of doing this work, both online and in person. I have not found guys are any less capable of handling the material with maturity than girls or women are. Mind, when I come to teach, in any avenue, I'm generally not the most serious person in the whole world, to say the least, and do tend to bring a lightness a lot of school sex ed often doesn't have, so.

In fact, in an in-person class I'm teaching right now with high school or middle school dropouts, I'm having a situation where the guys actually bring more depth to the table than the girls/young women do, and handle the topic way better.

Not always like that, like I said, it's a mix, but not one I have found is about gender.

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Jacob at Scarleteen
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If we take 'vulgar' out of this equation I think that comedy can very often be a really good way of showing solidarity with someone and making them feel safe with what you have to say. I don't think that's gender specific... Sure some things might work better for some boys than some girls, but really that's just a symptom of everyone having different learning styles in general.

So yeah I'm really not cool with the gender specificity but also the framing of these things as 'Vulgar'. As far as I know that can mean two types of offensive.

Does vulgar mean sexual? Because if so... DUH of course you have to be vulgar/sexual to talk about sex ed! In my opinion there's nothing 'vulgar' about sexuality.

But does it mean sexist/racist/something-else-ist... then who cares if it works! It'd be at the expense of something which undermines any value to learning about sexual health! If you know how STIs are passed but you don't respect people, good for you, not so much for everyone you sleep with.

I feel like the use of the word vulgar really confuses things here... in addition to the gender generalisation issue.

Humour & sex ed for everyone!

Posts: 681 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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