We're keeping a keen eye on the state of sex education across the world. Sure, sex culture may be growing and may be turning into something more inclusive and understanding, but we have a long way to go. That direction will be determined by how we teach our kids. This week's Sex Stories We Love is the latest round-up of sex ed news stories from around the world.
The Pull-Out Method?
One of the most controversial aspects of sex education in schools is whether or not children and teens must attend these classes. So, while their peers might be getting new and advancing knowledge about bodies, sexuality, gender, and relationships, some kids are sitting it out because their parents don't believe they should be there. Now, we can hope these kids are getting that information at home from their parents...but we know that isn't the case 100% of the time. And those kids that miss out are at a distinct disadvantage to their peers, just as they would be had they been pulled from math or science class. Fortunately, some districts, such as in Wales, are, rightly, taking that decision away from the parents and making sex education compulsory. Bravo, Wales!
Religious belief is a key consideration when it comes to establishing sex education in school curriculum. This is true across the world and across many different faiths. In Morocco, preparing a sex ed course of study for children and teens must take into consideration the tenets of Islam, that is a given. If the country's sex ed platform were to mirror faith, sex ed teachings would clearly follow the abstinence-only model. Unfortunately, we've seen time and time again across the world that this type of sex ed and expected adherence does not produce the desired results. Sex outside of marriage still happens. Unplanned pregnancies still happen. Sexual assault still happens. Sex still happens. It happens in all countries whether there is a Christian, Muslim, Hindi, or any other faith majority. For the sake of children, we must abandon abstinence-only sex ed.
LGBTQI+ Rights Are Human Rights
Another major hurdle to establishing progressive, comprehensive sex education across the world is the legality of different types of sex in different countries. Take Ghana, for instance. As the country moves to establish a comprehensive sexual education curriculum, matters of rights and laws come into conflict. Ghana maintains a colonial-era law that forbids same-sex relations. However, the UN declared LGBTQI+ rights are human rights and a discussion of these rights are included in the new teachings. How can a country that outlaws queerness expect a fair, valid discussion of queer people and sexuality?
The battle of sex education in schools is hitting a fever pitch in some areas. Those who are against it are protesting. Those who are for it are demonstrating. Placards and signs and chants are rampant! Sex ed battle lines are currently being drawn in Tucson, Arizona and war is being waged. Ultimately, in this kind of situation, who really wins? Does everyone lose? The important thing to remember is that wile these debates range, years of young people are missing out on information that could literally help them. Consider your true legacy, folks.
Could You Teach Your Kids Sex Ed?
Now, here's a totally great idea! There's always talk and hubbub and threats and accusations and acrimony flying between governments, educators, parents, and religious groups about sex ed in schools for students. Well, how about schools also offer sex ed for parents? The Kamloops-Thomson school district in British Columbia offers a workshop and education session for parents who want to be the primary educators on matters of sex and sexuality. Great! Go for it! But please go ahead with this if, and only if, you intend to give your kids a proper and legitimate sexual information, everything from proper biological names and functions to discussions of different sexualities to consent to gender to sexual health, including options about abortion, abstinence, and how faith can play a role in all of this. Your kids will have questions. So, I hope you're prepared. This workshop is a great place to start.
...The Darnedest Things!
Finally, here are some of the questions, ideas, and impressions of sex that kids have floating around in their heads. Enough said.
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