Opinion

Sex education needs a facelift

"The talk" should be about more than just biology

It’s the age-old question: how young is too young? Catch the pun? If so, congratulations, and if not, it’s okay, it’s not an article about puns.

When I talk about age, I’m not just talking about doing the dirty deed. I’m talking about knowing about it and discussing it with others, whether they’re friends, siblings or even parents.

I know plenty of people that say when they have kids they want to be completely open and honest with them. After all, it’s just the human body and they’re going to have to learn about it sometime, right? So why not answer them honestly when they first ask you?

Personally, I don’t know how I feel about that. If you feel that way then more power to you. I’ll bring the visual aids but I’m not having kids anytime soon, especially in a society where children are constantly over-sexualized.

Honestly, “Toddlers and Tiaras” is long overdue for a series finale or cancellation. Preferably cancellation.

Knowing about sex in a society in which values appear to be constantly deteriorating is extremely detrimental to developing emotional sexual maturity, something that I’m not sure I even have myself.

In this day and age I hear about sixth graders having pregnancy scares and girls losing their virginities during their tweenage years. From an emotional standpoint, I feel like that’s most likely a mistake.

Speaking from the perspective of someone who grew up in a sheltered home environment in terms of subjects like sex, I understand I’m biased. I recognize that and a lot of other opinions are valuable in this discussion.

For example, if we’re speaking in biological terms, sexual maturity (puberty) is when you start being able to reproduce, which is happening at an earlier and earlier age nowadays. In a lot of cultures the prime age to actually procreate is shortly thereafter. If we’re thinking in terms of nature as a whole, then naturally we have the urge to reproduce around when we reach sexual maturity.

I recognize that the mindset I have is shaped by American society, which largely concerns itself with being politically correct. Sex is one of those taboo topics that’s pushed off to the side and highly controversial, which makes teaching children about it all the more difficult — after all, they have to learn about it at some point.

Perhaps effort should be made to teach children about sex’s implications, as opposed to debating about the best age to be learning about it. When I talk about implications I’m not just talking about the STI’s you learn about in high school. I also believe the emotional side of sex should be discussed.

Sex affects so many aspects of a person’s development. A scientific overview isn’t enough anymore. Let’s stop making it all about the birds and the bees and looking at pictures of pink penises in middle school textbooks. Let’s be real, sex isn’t about butterflies and prettiness. It’s hot and sloppy and you might go home in clothes that are cleaner than you are.

Seriously, I wish I would’ve known more about sex from all sorts of viewpoints before I had it for the first time. It’s great to know where to put it but what implications will that have afterwards? If I knew more, maybe I wouldn’t have had to experiment as much to find out various things that could be detrimental to me in some ways now.

This is one of those issues where everyone has their own opinion and I think that’s OK. While I wouldn’t advocate anyone pushing their children to have sex, we all deserve exposure to different perspectives on this issue, and I have no doubt that we all will continue to have this right.

Views expressed in the opinion pages represent the opinions of the columnists.