One would like to believe that teenage sex is no longer taboo with ample sex education, but is that true? Are we allowing young adults to have open conversations about their sexual lives? Are we educating them enough to make informed decisions? The answer is NO.
What Is S-E-X Education? Why Is It Important?
Sex education aims at educating people about sexual activities, sexual health, and sexual organs to help them make informed decisions about their sex life.
In the sensitive teen years, children are exposed to sexual language and norms even before they understand them. Therefore, when the necessary knowledge is unavailable through trustworthy means such as sex education sessions, teenagers seek knowledge from other unreliable sources like friends of the same age, magazines, and websites.
In some cases, porn sites become the guidebook for teenagers to understand their bodies and sexual activities. We must comprehend that any wrong information gained at this sensitive age can have a lasting impact on their life. Therefore, introducing sex-ed in the curriculum is not just a choice but an unavoidable responsibility.
3 Reasons Why Sex Education Is Indispensable for Teenagers
Teaching children math, science and geography are essential to equip them with basic knowledge. Similarly, sex-ed is necessary whether teenagers lead an active sex life or not. Here is why sex education is not a choice but rather a need:
- Promotes Safe Sex: People feel that providing sex education encourages sex, but the contrary is true. It makes young adults aware of the consequences of sexual activities and advocates safe sex. Educating teenagers about the need to have protected sex and the various protectants is paramount. Thus, we can reduce the high rate of unwanted teenage pregnancies caused by ignorance or lack of knowledge by educating teenagers.
- Encourages Body Positivity: Sex education teaches young adults about the functioning of the sexual organs and human bodies as a whole. It is an excellent way to understand human biology and accept their body, including the genitals. If left uneducated, young adults might feel conscious about their body parts and fail to understand some of their bodily functions, especially during puberty. Therefore, timely providing sex education can encourage body positivity and help teenagers better accept and understand themselves.
- Establishes Boundaries: By understanding the human body more closely and establishing the concept of the private parts, young adults can better comprehend limits and boundaries. With sex education, it becomes easier to educate teenagers about the “right touch” and “wrong touch”, helping them establish boundaries. Therefore, it can help people keep themselves safe from unacceptable behaviour at a young age.
Creating a Safe Space
Besides educating teenagers, it is equally important to create a safe space to talk about their sex life. We must allow them to talk about discomfort, emotional and physical pain, abnormalities in sex life, and anxieties freely. Different people might witness varied problems in their sexual relationships that can become huge if left unattended. Sometimes, youngsters might even become anxious about their love life problems stemming from their sexual life.
Along with the school curriculum, we must encourage an open discussion between parents and teenagers. Children can best discuss their insecurities and challenges with their parents since they consider it a safe space. This privilege must be given to every child in the teenage years so that they can go on to become confident adults.
Sex Education on Netflix
An excellent Netflix series named Sex Education dwells on the life of high school children dealing with a plethora of sexual confusions and challenges. Created by Laurie Nunn, Sex Education follows the lives of students, staff, and parents at the Moordale Secondary School. In doing so, it educates the viewers along with the students and teachers. This teenage comedy features Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Emma Mackey, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Ncuti Gatwa, Connor Swindells, Mimi Keene, Aimee Lou Wood, and Alistair Petrie.
Right from the release of its first season on 11 January 2019 the series has been popular among teenagers worldwide. The viewership of the first season crossed 40 million.
Watch the trailer of Sex Education here.
Otis, personally inexperienced in the lovemaking domain, gives out brilliant sex advice to his fellows. Thanks to his professional sex therapist mom, Dr. Jean F. Milburn. Grown-up amidst the videos, manuals, and open conversations about sex, Otis has mastered the subject. Pairing up with the quick-witted girl, Maeve, he opens up an underground sex clinic to help his classmates in their dilemmas rooted in sexual intimacy.
With the series moving forward, we witness cases of all kinds. Some students discover their sexual orientation, and others get past the barriers of sexual intimacy with their partners. All of this happens with the help of open conversations and therapy. Moving ahead, we also see that once the clinic is closed, people start depending on unreliable sources that become almost a threat.
Season 3 of Sex Education, released on 17 September 2021, has had a vast viewership of people looking forward to another dose of sex-ed and seeing where the love story of Otis and Maeve heads.
Read more about Sex Education season 3 here.
The school’s sex-ed curriculum is in question throughout, and the need for it is witnessed by students and teachers together. This show has become a hep among teenagers because of the extensive knowledge it provides on sexual activities. It shows the need to have open conversations around sex, especially with teenagers.
Rotten Tomatoes gave an average rating of 8.10/10 to the series. The website’s critical consensus states “Bawdy, heartfelt, and surprisingly wise, Sex Education is a raucous romp through a group of teenagers whose sexual misadventures are so thoughtfully rendered, adults could learn a thing or two from them.”
Shows like this educate people not just on sex-ed, but also the need to have it in the high school curriculum. It promotes conversation surrounding this taboo which is essential to keep our young adults safe and aware. The more we open the subject for discussion and knowledge sharing, the better chance we have at making teenagers responsible and confident. It is high time we put an end to categorizing sex-ed as an “unmentionable” topic and introduce it in the high school curriculum.