How many teenagers truly NEED sex education? Surely they know what they are doing, are practicing safe sex, having good boundaries, and making sure they are engaging in partnersex for the right reasons! Why am I so sure of these things? Because I was a teen who did all of these things, and I NEVER had Scarleteen! In my day we learned about sex the old-fashioned way, from our parents,schools, and churches! AND WE LIKED IT! None of this fancy “interweb” for us!
Everyone’s parents teach them to respect their bodies from the time they are tiny children – right? All parents pass on the message that “your body belongs to you and YOU choose what to do with it” and follow it up with a respect for boundaries! And what parent does not tell her child that she is allowed to tell someone NOT to touch her, for any reason? If parents did not do this, we might see an epidemic of sexual abuse in this country – as if!
It is just good parenting to teach children proper names for anatomy, including the names of the genitals of BOTH sexes, and making sure to include the clitoris, vulva, AND vagina! All parents explain the mechanics of sex to children in an age appropriate, truthful, non-judgmental, scientifically accurate manner! I mean, if parents can get children to understand the logistics of a fat man delivering presents to millions of children in one night, surely they can do the same with a matter as important as sexuality!
Parents and caregivers approach childhood masturbation and sexual exploration with a healthy attitude towards privacy AND encouragement of pleasure! Only in ancient times did people try to convince children that masturbation was evil and destructive, and that hellfire and brimstone awaited those who touched themselves! We live in an age of enlightenment where people recognize the need for children to develop their sense of sexuality for themselves BEFORE they try to share it with others.
While the role of parents, families, and religious communities is to provide our youth with a strong foundation for creating sexual values that work for them, schools focus on the public health perspective of youth sexuality. Thank goodness that all of our youth have access to healthcare and information on contraception, disease prevention, and the range of variety in sexual orientation, gender expression, and healthy relationships!
Can you IMAGINE what it would be like to live in a society that did not train its members to be responsible sexual partners? Where variety was discouraged? Where people were encouraged to lie about who they were rather than be different? Where teens regularly face socially and institutionally accepted harassment for being 10% of the population? Where people learned how to be sexual from “Cum Sluts 2: Electric Boogaloo” instead of real live people they trust? INCONCEIVABLE!!!!!!!! There would be pandemonium – everything from girls becoming young mothers, STDs running rampant, sexual assault in high numbers, and even kids killing themselves rather than be honest about their sexuality!
If we lived in a society that sent mixed messages to youth about sex, pleasure, relationships, and their place in the world, I could see the need for an organization that has been the premier online sexuality resource for young people worldwide since 1998 and provides free, inclusive, comprehensive and positive sex education, information and one-on-one support to millions, and has never shied away from discussing sexuality as more than merely posing potential risks, but as posing potential benefits, something rarely seen in young adult sex education.
But let’s get real here – that’s about as likely as a creationist being healed from demons, shooting wolves from a helicopter, promoting abstinence while her own teen daughter is pregnant, being part of a failed presidential team, quitting her job, and STILL maintaining relevance in national politics!
*For the sarcasm impaired, here is the bottom line. Scarleteen talks to teens and young adults about sexuality in a respectful, truthful manner that seeks to honor where that person is on their sexual journey while at the same time encouraging responsibility and self-respect. And they do it on a shoestring budget of less than $70,000 per year.
To put my money where my mouth is (Is there a fetish for that? Putting your mouth on money? I guess now that I have thought it someone has made porn about it!) I pledged $20 per month to Scarleteen myself.
Or face a future of youth taught abstinence by people who want to control where YOU put your genitals.