There’s a lot wrong with sex education in the United States. Many programs push an “abstinence until marriage” agenda geared only to cisgender heterosexual people. If youth are really lucky, they might learn about birth control and HIV prevention. Honestly, though, shouldn’t sex be presented as more than the potential for pregnancy and infection?
“There’s no doubt that our sex education is woefully inadequate — not just in terms of its delivery, but its substance,” says Lea Rose Emery in Collective. “Though we need to have comprehensive education for all children covering anatomy, sexuality, gender, and reproductive health, as we look at 2019 it’s time to dream a little bigger — and to start including pleasure in the conversation.”
Emery suggests the following ways to improve sex ed:
- Teach that sex is more than pregnancy and STIs
- Teach that wanting pleasure is natural
- Teach that all pleasure is equal
- Teach that consent is essential to pleasure
- Teach how sexual pleasure plays into larger relationships
Learn more: 5 ways we need to teach about pleasure in sex ed.