Porn Ed: Where are Teens Learning About Sex?

Chalkboard with "Sex Education" written in chalk.

Bum­bum. Girly parts. Cookie. ​Octopus​. All are names young girls are told to call their “treasure downstair”. By the time a girl is twelve she has heard thousands of sugar­coated names to describe what is scientifically called a vagina. According to Peggy Orenstein, author of the book, Girls and Sex,when conducting a survey of students in Britain, sixty percent of young women consult pornography as if it were an instructional manual.

When a young girl or boy has the “talk”, parents typically teach about abstinence, no means no and the doom and gloom of sex. All are valid points to emphasize to your child but what about the things that are just as important. What about how to properly apply a condom or the different forms of contraceptives? It is understandable. No one wants to sit down and have the birds and bees conversation with the product of your own honey making. But the conversation needs to be had. If not at home, then at school.

Unfortunately, health and sex education are too commonly taught as the same thing. Young boys and girls go through the uncomfortable semester of the changes of their bodies and the diseases that come with having sex but how are young minds supposed to grasp the gravity of their action when their textbooks can not even properly call what the female reproductive organ is; a vagina. Too many young adults are engaging in sexual relationships without the proper understanding of their body’s and all the pros and cons of being intimate. So without that information from home or school, the average teenager will go to the internet. We’ve all been surfing the internet and a few clicks here and there and all of a sudden you are in a whole world that you did not even know existed. As a seasoned adult you understand that all that is accessed in the internet is not an accurate depiction of what actually happens. A young adult with the minimum information about intercourse might confuse what is the equivalent of pro wrestling in mature form, with what is an everyday act.

From ages fifteen to nineteen, most teens have at least taught about abstinence, HIV or STI’s. Maybe they get the parents that are more “liberal” if you will and talk about contraceptives. Unfortunately, according to the Guttmacher Institute, one­ third of teenagers have not been taught about contraceptives. The immature mind set that teenagers have will immediately say that “that won’t happen to me” or “only stupid people don’t know how to use a condom”. But you will be surprised. One is to assume that the higher rate of teen pregnancy and the lack knowledge about the ins and outs of sexual education go hand and hand. Without the knowledge of how to even use a condom correctly, how are teenagers supposed to be safe and pregnancy free? Yes, it is true that being taught about sexual education does not stop teens from having sex. Teens are going to do what they want regardless of the consequences. So why teach it? Parents do not condone the subject matter, wanting their child to strictly be taught that abstinence is the only thing they need to practice. And this is true, Abstinence is the best form of contraceptive and safest. But the point of sexual education is not to prevent teenagers from having sex. It is to give them the knowledge they need to be safe if and when they engage in the act.

Teenagers have the right to get accurate information about sex, not candy ­coated rainbows or unqualified internet education. Forty­ six percent of the websites teenagers use for sexual information is inaccurate. Remember that the next time you brush the “talk” off from your own budding young adult.

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