OWL

My Personal Journey: Long Term Effects of Sex-Negative Teen Sex Education

This guest post is from Anita Wagner at Practical Polyamory, and is part of the month-long blogathon to help raise funds for Scarleteen!

I grew up in an area that is pretty much to this day an exceedingly conservative part of the United States. When I came of age, good parents zealously guarded their daughters' virtue by attempting to control the what, where, when, and most importantly, who, of their daughters' social lives. Sex ed, after a fashion, was taught in health and hygiene class in about the 7th grade, but this was largely limited to "the birds and the bees," i.e. reproductive system ed geared toward gender, with boys and girls taking separate classes. Certainly there was no mention of sexual anatomy or sexually transmitted infections, and information about birth control would be unthinkable, including how to use a condom.

"This Information will Not Kill You" or, How Our Whole Lives Changed My Life

My teenage years were filled with “evangelical sex education.” I remember the heavy use of punctuation in my True Love Waits book and wondering what sex was really like. At the time, I assumed marriage was the future of my sexuality. This was a bit upsetting considering sex felt like an unknown planet where I was unwelcome. In order to change history I started researching sexuality education programs. I was angry about my limited education and felt confident that there must be at least one curriculum in the US with gumption and accurate information for teens.