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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Basic Anatomy

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Author Topic: Basic Anatomy
paper towel
Member # 39124

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I think sex ed is too scary. I'm sure there's a reason why every source of information (including this one at times, but far less often) scares people to death, but I also think it causes questions like "He came three days ago, but was standing in the closet, fully clothed, facing away from me. Today I walked past the closet. AM I PREGNANT???" My boyfriend was insanely paranoid once after ejaculating onto my stomach, for God's sake! And I'll not exclude myself. When I missed my pill by three hours once I totally freaked out and my mom said, "Back in my day, doctors just told us to try and take it once a day, and it worked just fine for me."

I think the underlying problem is simply a very poor understanding of anatomy. Sex ed (at least my school's) should have a much more detailed anatomy unit. So who do I tell?

Posts: 52 | From: Oregon | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Hey paper towel,

Making fun of the questions & crisis of our users will not be tolerated here, even if you're lumping yourself into that category. Being respectful is part of the guidelines which you agreed to when you signed up.

Please read through the policy I linked you above to refresh yourself with what is and isn't acceptable here.

Why do you think that providing accurate sex education "scares people to death?" Don't you think that maybe not having access to all of the information here would be much scarier?

You can talk to your health teacher about providing more detailed anatomy lessons, for sure. Even give them the link to Scarleteen. However, it's unlikely that any sex or body positive education is going to take place in this country until abstinence-only education is abandoned.

[ 09-29-2008, 01:35 AM: Message edited by: Alice ]

The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

Posts: 1180 | From: WA | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
paper towel
Member # 39124

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Nah, I see your point now. It was written in a fit of rage whilst writing my article in the school newspaper about our sex ed policy changes. They're teaching it in freshman year now! But it's still the same outdated BS.

So, sorry. *very sheepish smile going on this side of the screen*

Posts: 52 | From: Oregon | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Paper towel: I think you make a valid point in stating that schools many times do really have a problem where sexual education is concerned. The problem comes in, however, with the fact that many sexual education curriculums are not comprehensive - and when they're considered comprehensive they simply aren't comprehensive enough. (By this I mean that the programs don't cover a wide range of information, and certainly not everything that should and needs to be covered)

Another thing to condider is that many of the teachers that are actually in charge of teaching sexual education aren't comfortable with the subject, much less talking to others about it. Notice the point here that Heather is comfortable with talking about and indeed teaching about sex as a positive thing, with emphasis to teaching safer sex practices and healthy sexual relationships. She also chooses staff on the basis that they too are comfortable, well informed, and have a drive to learn more.

When a teacher isn't comfortable, many times they give the minimum - often what they themselves were taught. If they're not comfortable with the subject in general they won't go out of their way to find information that is needed. This lends itself to a retell of same information, and it can also mean a lot of nformation could be wrong (as studies change what we know everyday about different things) as well as a lack of some of the most important information.

The problem goes further with the fact that sex in general is still a very under-discussed topic. School administrators are often uncomfortable - so they don't lend their curiculum writing to this subject and it's important factors. Why does sexual education being taught Freshman year bother you?

"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

Posts: 3429 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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One thing when thinking about this is that the idea that previous generations of Americans were better educated about sexual anatomy -- which it seems like you're presuming, based on your conclusion -- is false.

I don't know how old your mother is, but if she is around my age, she may have caught a very brief glimpse, as I did, to a heyday of good sex education in the 70's and 80's that started in some areas (primarily very urban ones), but then was pretty quickly cut down. If she's telling you she felt very relaxed about sex in her teens, a) she was an exception to a pretty typical rule through all generations and b) it was not likely due to being an expert on sexual anatomy.

In other words, I think that when looking for a change in the fear factor (though I'm not sure I agree at all that this is anything new, nor about sex education itself scaring anyone, though I do think certain kinds of fear mongering have amped the fears), figuring it's about a lack of understanding about anatomy, or about sex ed in general probably isn't it.

But it's always a fascinating conversation to talk about where sexuality fears come from and how sex education -- and other things -- can best address and calm them, so happy to have us all gab on that.

In terms of your school curriculum, why not ask for a look at it? See which curriculum it is, and if it is not a comprehensive curriculum with the kinds of things you think are needed, you can certainly suggest some better curricula, perhaps organize a student board or petition, etc.

[ 09-29-2008, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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