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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » What is wrong with our schools?!

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Author Topic: What is wrong with our schools?!
StrawberrySafeSex
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A girlfriend of mine and her boyfriend, (both of whom are 18) recently discovered that the boyfriend is circmcised. Both of them did not know what a circumcised/uncircumcised penis looks like, as it was never taught in school, and the only model of a penis shown is one that is circumcised, and is just labeled as "penis" rather than "circumcised penis". So, for 18 years they believed that the circumcised model was actually the non-circumcised one, and since the boyfriend's parents apparantly did not inform the boyfriend, the two only found out when searching the internet when curious one night.

My God, our school sex ed needs to do a better job. Now that I think of it, the diagrams of the penis are fairly "vague", and I know for sure never in my high school/junior high was anything so comprehensive offered, no safe sex info administered.

Gentlemen, ladies: How do we fix this? In a world where young kids get pregnant everyday due to misinformation, where young gay people are confused about their identity and live a life of shame, what can we do?

My goodness!
Strawberry


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Heather
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Well, you can start at your own school and community. Often, local action is the best place to start.

Like by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Or, by crafting a petition for students and parents to sign asking for more comprehensive, accurate sex education. Research what your schools sex ed curricula actually is. Talk to your school librarian about what you do and don't have for sexuality information in the library, etc.

It is wise to be reasonable in what you ask, though. For instance, likely in biology you aren't getting a lot of information on the muscles of the leg and how they work, and now knowing that wouldn't be likely to create an environment for injury or trauma any more than not knowing if a penis was circumcised or not, would.

Also, you have to be sure not to put ALL of the burden of this on a school. A parent not telling a pretty small kid about the bare basics of his genitals is truly a parent problem. Most kids are curious enough that they will ask questions. That this guy even got to that point -- through parents, through doctors, etc. -- where the burden was on a school is the real disgrace here.


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Ikeren
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Certainly, schools need a more comprehensive sexual education curriculum. However, giving them one does not mean much. Indeed, I have had classes where the teacher did not bother to cover the curriculum (Civics). And even if the curriculum is taught, it is not necessarily learned.

And I don't place all the blame on the parents either. Certainly, sexual education, a bit of it, is a good idea. However, honestly...who likes hearing their parents talk about sex? And furthermore, even if the parents are willing to impart information, teenagers are not often the most receptive of audiences.

I think the best way to convince people to learn something is to make them realize how little they know. I cringe every time somebody tells me "What is LeVay Satanism?" or "Sadomaso...darn it, I lost the last bit of that?"...But I certainly have gotten people to start reading about something they weren't aware existed.

So, in my theory, the best education system, to me, isn't one that teaches students anything; it is one that teaches students areas where they can still learn more.

------------------
I am a 17 year old male practitioner of BDSMLNOPQRSTUV...

I am a sadist (60%)
I am a masochist (40%)
I am bisexual, or bipermissive. (75% heterosexual, 25% homosexual).

I seek no conflict outside my bedroom walls.


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beautifulDISASTER
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Wow. When I first read this forum topic, I showed my high school science teacher. To tell you the truth I am only on this site and inside this forum is for an exam paper due in 2 weeks. But I decided to sign up for the forum since I have many controvesal feelings. So if anyone would like to share some experiences or feelings/thoughts about "sexED and the miscommunication of it"...Please feel free to message or email me!!!! By the way, I do greatly agree with your forum topic, It is so true.

LATER

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-Mandee


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DarkChild717
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beautifulDISASTER, we don't allow users to post e-mail or contact information, for your own safety. We ask that all communication be done here, on the boards. Thanks.
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Ghosty
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I wouldn't agree with you that the best system is the one that "teaches" how to learn.

I can tell you that in my school it has been like that for many years. And the result is, just scraching on the surface.

I don't live in the US, and we do get sexual education, however it is not near enough a good standard.

They teach you what menstruation is, what a penis is, and that those two fit together.
also we got to learn the menstrual cycle. and all the names of the parts. Plus diffrent type of protection.

It was just rational, clear information.

But frankly, it isn't up to the school. I believe that it's the parents that are the ones to teach their kids about sex. School can only inform, and teach things that are known for sure. But it's hard to teach kids emotions, feelings etc, in school because it is very subjective.

I'm more angry and dissapointed at the parents that don't care about their kids health. And that they don't realize that "kids do grown up into adults".

My parents talked to me about sex, but they never said when I should do it or how old or whom it would be. They tought me that there a lot of diffrent protections and that you should think about which one you choose. Also they told me that I should come to them if I have any questions.

I was lucky, I realize that now.
I can't really figure out what's so damn wrong with sex, and being "educated" about it. If it wasn't for this site, I would still have many questions unanswered, allthough I have constructive parents.

However I do have a theory about it. Don't know if anyone shares it with me but my theory is following.

Sex can be used as a form of control. Many religions seem to interfear with sex (example: Recently there has been a huge argument in Egypt about whether married adults should see eachother naked while during sex or not).
When you control how someone does have "sex" you control a huge part of his/hers very personal and intimate life.

I don't know but if young people were more informed, and more educated not only about Tab a into slot b, but also value, trust, relationship issues, and that sex is something good when done because you want to. Then I believe less people would have sex, just to have it. Also there would be a LOT fewer misstakes with unwanted pregnacies, less girls who've been tricked into sex, and more guys who would see themselves as equals to girls, rather than "Only one thing in mind".

The forbidden fruit, will always be more intresting than anything else.


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blarg
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Hehehe . . . my parents told me what circumcision was when I was 6 years old . . . I got "the talk" when I was seven . . .

I find it hard to believe that parents object to sex education in schools. Sex ed never says what is wrong or right or moral or immoral about sex. It gives you the facts: what sex is, what the consequences of sex can be (pregnancy, STDs, etc.), and what the known measures of protection from those consequences are (abstinence, condoms, birth control, etc.). In fact, the only moral/immoral or right/wrong position I ever heard on the subject was that sexual assault and/or rape is NEVER okay.

I don't see how that's objectionable at all.


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Karybu
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Actually, blarg, for most schools in the US, that's not what sex ed is at all....

I don't live there now, but I went to public high school in the US not too long ago, and so all of my sex education was of the abstinence-only type. They showed us what a condom was, told us it basically wasn't effective enough; we were taught pretty much that sex was wrong until you were married. The only things we learned about STDs were how incredibly dangerous they were and how we were basically going to die if we had sex before marriage. It was all a lot of scare tactics and misinformation, and from the sound of it, that's what's still taught.

And you know what? I remember some parents being seriously upset that any sort of information (however wrong) about sex was being taught in school. We had to have permission from our parents to take the sex ed part of health class, and some parents just wouldn't give it.

[This message has been edited by karybu (edited 01-31-2006).]


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blarg
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Seriously?

That's not what I learned in sex ed . . . I definitely remember being told several times that condoms, if used properly, are like 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and/or STDs . . . and there was never any mention about marriage in my sex ed classes, though they did say that you should never have sex just because "everyone's doing it", that you should never be pressured into it . . . I wonder why the discrepancy between material . . .


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Heather
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You got lucky.

The discrepacy is because since 1996, ONLY abstinence-only sex education is federally-funded in the public schools here.

If a public shcool has comprehensive sex ed, that's because they took a stand and paid for that curricula out of their own pockets. So go your school.


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Mathilde
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Blarg, you're one of the luckier ones, I think. In my school, our health classes stick to the Abstinence-Only Until Marriage curriculm. It's difficult because I for one want to know how I can protect myself against pregnancy and STIs, but I, being the STUDENT, have to come to the internet for the answers. This site (as well as Sex, Etc) is a fabulous source, but I would much prefer a teaher helping me learn. That's what shows a good Sexual Education programme.

All my teacher did was say, "Wait 'til marriage. Condoms have a so-and-so failure rate, so they aren't all too reliable, blah blah blah". I'll tell you that I'm sure 75% of the info they gave us went in one ear and out the other. If they would give us medically proven facts as opposed to garbled lies, then maybe teen pregnancy would go down a bit in America. But no, our government decided to take the 'easy way out' and just tell kids to not have sex. Simple as that, right? Wrong.

We didn't get one ounce of worthy information in that class. All they gave us was information on how to resist sexual urges and sustain our vow to abstain from sex. Fun, fun. You know how many people probably left that class just as sex-dumb as when they came in? Once again, about 75%, not counting those of us who actually choose to go learn up on sexual education.

I'm done now.

[This message has been edited by Mathilde (edited 01-31-2006).]


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Ghosty
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quote:
Originally posted by Mathilde:
[b]Blarg, you're one of the luckier ones, I think. In my school, our health classes stick to the Abstinence-Only Until Marriage curriculm. It's difficult because I for one want to know how I can protect myself against pregnancy and STIs, but I, being the STUDENT, have to come to the internet for the answers. This site (as well as Sex, Etc) is a fabulous source, but I would much prefer a teaher helping me learn. That's what shows a good Sexual Education programme.

All my teacher did was say, "Wait 'til marriage. Condoms have a so-and-so failure rate, so they aren't all too reliable, blah blah blah". I'll tell you that I'm sure 75% of the info they gave us went in one ear and out the other. If they would give us medically proven facts as opposed to garbled lies, then maybe teen pregnancy would go down a bit in America. But no, our government decided to take the 'easy way out' and just tell kids to not have sex. Simple as that, right? Wrong.

We didn't get one ounce of worthy information in that class. All they gave us was information on how to resist sexual urges and sustain our vow to abstain from sex. Fun, fun. You know how many people probably left that class just as sex-dumb as when they came in? Once again, about 75%, not counting those of us who actually choose to go learn up on sexual education.

I'm done now.

[This message has been edited by Mathilde (edited 01-31-2006).][/B]


People will never stop having sex. And to teach abstinence is probably making the problem worse.
Cause who wouldn't like to understand, "Why wait to marriage?"
I was lucky, nobody told me to wait till marriage. But if someone had, I really doubt that I would be able to resist "not finding out what they re talking about"....

Dunno if it's strange thinking, but it's always more tempting to do something that is forbidden by no obvious, logical reason.


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blarg
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As a teenager, I can safely say that EVERYONE I knew in high school, myself included, thought about sex frequently, and a significant number of them had some sort of sexual relations with another person by the end of senior year . . . and guess what? The vast majority of those sexually active people were the people who thought it was absolutely horrible that the school taught sex ed and about condoms and birth control and stuff; they were the people who touted "purity until marriage" . . . and in light of that, I can't imagine they weren't quite grateful to condoms and birth control pills for the problems it allowed them to avoid.
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Mathilde
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quote:
Dunno if it's strange thinking, but it's always more tempting to do something that is forbidden by no obvious, logical reason.

I know what you mean. That's the way teens are (myself included) questioning their authority. If you just say, "Don't have sex 'til marriage, it's WRONG!" then what do you think teens going to do? Listen? No. They're going to see what all the fuss is about.

Until teens are supplied with good information, they aren't just going to say, "Oh, this guy said I shouldn't have sex 'til marriage cos that's bad. I think I'll listen to him."

Yes, because he was just so convincing with his argument, right? /sarcasm

There's Abstinence-Only Until Marriage for you.

[This message has been edited by Mathilde (edited 01-31-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Mathilde (edited 01-31-2006).]


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KittenGoddess
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Kings Park sex ed raises eyebrows

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Sarah Liz
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Ghosty
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Wow, this was a move in the right direction.

But I don't understand what the fuzz is about.
This is something I find very amuzing.

"Rosemary Molaro, whose son attended the program, said she was flabbergasted when her son came home and told her, "I know exactly what you do with that thing in the bathroom with the string attached to it."

It's hilarious that people are trying to cut off so much information.

I can agree that it's an controversal idea, but I believe it's a great one, it doesn't just talk about theory, it shows some real practice.
I have never understood, or probably never will understand, what's all this fuzz about human beings having sex.
And what's the diffrence between a 17 year old getting sex, ed and an 18 year old.

I don't know what the average age for the first time in the US. But in sweden it is 16 years for girls and 17.5 years for boys.
So it wouldn't be wrong teaching out sex ed, among with menstrual cycle, earlier.

I saw an intresting show about sex, in diffrent cultures, far back in time.
It wasn't anything near this, as it is today.
Sex everywhere, but still nowhere....

Our college/high school ( don't know which one, but it's the school you go to after elementary school ) got a lot of criticizm from swedish school board, about not having enough and proper sex ed. Which resulted a sex ed day in school, where a sex educator was offered to have a lesson. There were diffrent condom brands handed out in school, diffrent safer sex organisations.
It was really a fun experience, because we had the opportunity to ask questions directly to the lecturer, and he was fun aswell. No huzz fuzz, just straight and simple with a humoristic sense.
There were about 180 of us at the same time asking questions, etc.
Most said that it was a fun day, because all of the regular lessons were cancelled.

The next day, I didn't notice that more people were staring to have sex, but what I noticed was that people became aware both of risks, and diffrent methods of protection, and also that it's okay to have sex, as long it's mutual agreement and nobody is forced into it....


[This message has been edited by Ghosty (edited 02-01-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Ghosty (edited 02-01-2006).]


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Beppie
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Oh Lordy! 10 year old boys and girls learn about tampons together! Obviously, they are going to immediately lose all sense of "childhood innocence," and, because the lesson was co-ed, they are all going to go out immediately and have heterosexual sex!

Seriously though, I think that this programme sounds like a great idea, and is totally age appropriate, especially given that these days a number of ten year old girls in any class are likely to have started menstruating, and the majority will likely start within the next two years-- and I definitely think that it is important that the boys are included in this. I remember when I was eighth grade, a number of boys having a debate within my hearing over whether or not women urinated from their vagina. I think it's also important to demystify menstruation for males as well as females-- I think that a large part of the reason menstruation is seen as something so abject, particularly by many men, is because they just don't understand what is going on.

I find it interesting that the article focuses particularly on the tampon demonstration. It seems to me that this is taboo not only because it involves menstruation, but penetration, and often people are still very uncomfortable with the idea of a vagina being penetrated outside of the context of heterosexual sex-- as such, they tend to think that any sort of vaginal penetration has some sort of connotation of heterosexual sex, even though in reality tampons have nothing to do with sexual penetration of any kind.


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blarg
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It's also funny that, for example, people are considered "adults" at age 18 . . . as in, they aren't minors anymore . . . yet, the legal age of consent in a lot of places is 16. If you're legally allowed to consent at age 16, it makes COMPLETE SENSE to have sex ed before that time. If it's somehow not appropriate for people under 18 to have a sex ed class, for whatever stupid reason someone comes up with, then the age of consent for sex shouldn't be so low. How do people possibly expect others to be able to consent to sex if they also think that it's not appropriate for them to accurately learn what sex is?!

The article is quite funny in an absurd way. I had sex ed in 5th grade, 6th grade, and as a "Health" class in 9th grade. We were separated by gender in 5th and 6th grade, but not in 9th grade. Even separated, the teachers taught each class the EXACT SAME STUFF . . . their reasoning was that they felt that kids in 5th and 6th grade would feel much more comfortable learning about sex in a single-gender environment (you know how teasing is in middle school). But seriously though, it's like, "God forbid boys should ever know what a tampon is!" What's it gonna do? Kill them?


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daria319
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Wow...I must have completely lucked out. The sex ed in my highschool health class was pretty blunt. It was just the nuts and bolts talk (why does that sound funny?) that most people needed to hear. It was basically a crash course in human anatomy, an overview of about a dozen STDs, and a primer on safer sex. The only opinion that was added was from our coach. She simply said sex is messy, and teenagers have way too much to worry about these days -- so we should be informed about every possible precaution we can take.

A few girls in the class were on birth control for one reason or another, and it was pretty openly discussed throughout the school. We were pretty much defiant of any prudish parent who dared to question the curriculum. (Heck, we're even one of the few schools who teach about aliens from other galaxies as an origin theory!)


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LiberalParent
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Hello, I was hoping to find a little help and insight here. And this looks like it might be the forum where I could find it.

Recently the school district in our town had the beginnings of a sex ed course. Specifically, they had a Puberty and Changing Bodies seminar with 5th graders.

It was an optional seminar where parents got to meet the guy beforehand with any questions and permission slips were required for the children to attend.

the problem is that the guy giving the seminar explained how to use a tampon in the seminar. And some parents went all into a tizzy. They brought the news media in it was in the newspapers and just made a mess.

Does anyone think it is wrong to teach 5th graders about puberty? Some already have their periods anyway.

We are very open with our children.

Our child attended and had no problem with any of the material. But unfortunately these ultra conservative parents may succeed in getting rid of the puberty course and maybe sex ed for junior high also.

They need to hear from people like you that it is necessary.

Many parents are embarrassed to talk about this and many children don't want to hear about it from their parents. Personally we are an open forum family so it is not an issue in our home. But I do not want to see the school get rid of this program.

Would it be possible for some of you to write to them in our "Town Blog" and explain from YOUR perspective why this is necessary? (if you agree that is)

the blog is located at www.suffolkpolitics.com
There is a "Smithtown Issues" section and then within that there is a "Kings Park School District" section where they have been writing about this. You can be totaly anonymous, do not have to register or anything. Just make up a username and leave the password blank and you can reply to anything or create your own topic.

Please help the kids of our town be able to have puberty education and sex ed for the junior high. It really is important to many of us but the ultra conservative parents are going crazy with their imaginations.

I thank you for your help in advance. Please take a few minutes to see what they are saying on this website. It is going to roll our schools back to the 19th century and we can't have that.

[This message has been edited by LiberalParent (edited 02-04-2006).]

[This message has been edited by LiberalParent (edited 02-06-2006).]


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LiberalParent
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Oh my God !! - I honestly had NO IDEA you guys were already talking about this!! After I submitted my reply I looked through the posts and theres my town and you guys talking about it!

I'm glad to see some of the things I've been saying were also said here.

Like what's the big deal about a tampon??

If that mother was so flabbergasted she should have better lines of communication with her child. Or kept the tampons hidden.

Either way it's no big deal.

PLUS, the seminar guy met with any parents ahead of time and said everything he was going to do. But some lazy parents didn't go to the meeting and just signed the permission slip. Then they had a cow when they found out he showed a tampon inserted into an anatomical model. (the thing really was scray looking, but some parents' imaginations think he brought in sex toys)

Anyway, now that I see you are already aware of the issue in my town I do hope some of you can take the few minutes and write to those parents on the town blog I listed in my last post. Even if some write back disagreeing at least they will be hearing it from you guys and I think your opinions matter more than some ultra conservative parent who thinks the world will end for his child now that they've been educated a little.


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Gumdrop Girl
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I've done plenty of health lectures to community groups and adolescents, and I've gathered that there are a lot of CLUELESS adults out there. I'm willing to bet that many of the parents whose shorts are in a knot are also misinformed about a lot of stuff. they're also the parents who probably complain that "sensitive" topics should be taught by the parents.

so i propose the following solution:
create a health curriculum covering puberty and sex. the teach it to the PARENTS, such as during a parents conferenct or assembly. Then instruct the parents to teach their kids and inform them that the school will TEST the kids on the material. show the test to the parents, so they know what to cover.

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