Sex Ed in School?

sex ed

Earlier this year, I had opted my son out of a sex ed class that they were having in his high school. Given his disability and current mental age, I didn’t feel that such a class was necessary. Plus, this is something that he and I discuss at home, more and more as he gets older. So he didn’t attend the class.

Fast forward a few months to this week…

During a meeting with his teachers, I was handed the lesson material that was used in that class, the same handbook that was given to the children. I opened it up when I got home, and my eyes got as big as golf balls as my jaw hit the floor.

It was by far the most pornographic thing I had seen in years. Typically a person would have to go to the adult section of a bookstore to find such information and photos. Everything was shown in detail. From positions to various alternatives, straight couples to homosexual couples – everything and I mean everything was in that handbook.

I’m not naive. I was young once too, and I know that teens have sex. Abstinence is a foreign concept for most kids these days. Therefore, teaching them about sex, safety, and STDs is important, very important. (It should be taught at home though, but many parents don’t, so schools have to.)  I was taught sex ed in school, but what was given to us was closer to a PG-13 level, not XXX.

So where do you draw the line? Do kids really need such pornographic photos with anatomically correct people, showing them precisely what to do? And I am precisely what to do. This may be passed out as a ‘sexual education book’, but in reality it’s nothing less than porn.

I can’t imagine any kid leaving that class, without wanting to take the first opportunity they get to try some of the things that they just learned from that handbook. The fact that teachers are the ones who are teaching them this, is disgusting and highly disturbing.

As someone said, “That’s the same as teachers handing students porn. That should be illegal.” I agree. To teach is one thing, but to expose them to such graphic material is entirely different.

What do you think? Should sex ed be taught in schools? At what age? And if so, where should the line be drawn?

How would you feel if your kid brought home a handbook from school, full of pornographic images?

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41 Responses to Sex Ed in School?

  1. I TOTALLY agree with you. My son is in his first year of high school this year and taking a health class that TOTALLY appalls me! It’s not an optional class; it’s a core subject and required. One of their assignments was to write down every single word (proper English and slang) they knew or had heard for certain body parts (male and female). Now what in the world do they need with that sort of assignment? And the videos my son is describing to me sound totally over the top as well. He’s pretty much decided never to “make” his wife have a baby since it’s obviously “the most horribly painful thing ever!” Exactly what I wanted my son to have as his view about having children. I feel my main goal this term is just to do damage mitigation so he doesn’t come out of things totally warped!

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    • mewhoami says:

      What on earth would be accomplished by having the kids write down stuff like that? I wonder, is this more for the teachers’ enjoyment than the kids’ education? I know that’s a sick thought but what’s the point behind some of the things being taught or assigned to those kids? I don’t get it. I totally agree about damage control. I’ve had to do the same thing with my son, just from what he’s taught in general ed and in classes where sex is brought up in conversation by the teachers. Your son now doesn’t even want kids – they need to be more careful about what and how they teach.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As I told you, we spoke over dinner about this post of yours. My son’s take on the video….he felt they should’ve been given an option to view it or not view it or at least to leave the room as it became apparent that alot of them were uncomfortable and put their heads down to avoid seeing parts of it. As for the words, he said they were all sort of giggly about writing down the “bad words” and that the point of the exercise was so that the instructor could tell them the proper terms for things and to tell them not to use the slang terms. I’m still reeling from all they’ve covered in this class, including the ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT that they set up a Twitter account to answer questions the instructor posts each day for credit in the course. My son isn’t allowed that sort of social media yet, so this was a huge issue for us. Some days I wonder why I didn’t go with my initial instinct and just home school………Ugh.

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        • mewhoami says:

          He has some great suggestions and I respect him for thinking that way. That would have been nice if the teacher would have given the kids some alternatives, rather than making them be a part of it. It’s not fair to practically force that on people. I still don’t understand the slang term assignment. Why couldn’t the teacher simply teach them the proper names? Why did he feel compelled to hear what terms are used in their place? I think that was a bit overboard.

          As for the Twitter account requirement, I would have been highly upset too. First of all, having all that information posted on twitter is disturbing and second, a teacher shouldn’t require kids to do something that goes against their house rules.

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          • How nice to have support on this! Sometimes I feel half crazy or that I’m not keeping up. Unfortunately, I can’t speak for the teacher’s thought process on the slang term assignment….if indeed there was a thought process. Sometimes I think teachers just want to be “cool” or “friends” with the students and not the authority figure they need to be. Who knows. Anyway, thankfully, my son has 2 parents that talk with him about what he’s seeing and hearing and give him our thoughts on things too. Hopefully, we go a little way toward balancing it out in his head. But wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to balance out what his educators are giving him?

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  2. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Wow, I would be curious what part of the country/state you live in. Even with my son in high school up until last year, “sex ed” aka Family Life Education, was anatomy, medical terms, hygiene, etc. All very technical…I opted him out after the first time he attended because there was nothing of use in there that he hadn’t already been taught. I wish information on birth control and consent had been stressed, but alas “abstinence only” is the prevailing theme through this area.

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    • mewhoami says:

      A class similar to the one you mentioned would be fine. At least in that one, they learn things that they truly need to know and not what they would normally only see in x-rated movies. Abstinence is great and I wish more kids would practice it, but since they don’t then they should definitely be taught about safety and birth control. That was covered in my son’s handbook, although difficult to see in the midst of everything else.

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    • jaklumen says:

      I don’t know the current state of things in our school district, Punky, but from what I recall, it was rather much the same. I really don’t recall if birth control was ever mentioned much; I think it was relegated to some corner of the school nurse’s office.

      I wanted to commend you on mentioning consent; I really do think that schools should be able to teach such in a way that everyone should agree on– although I’m not sure if it would be that way, in practice. I think it’d still get divisive just on personal belief.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you. It is okay that they get education and knowledge and better than getting this from porn movies, as I see it, destroy all kind of intimate, as they need to learn about. They don’t need to show them this book. Better to talk about feelings, protection both against pregnancy and illness instead.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Yes, intimacy and love. I wonder if they even discuss that part of it. I don’t recall seeing anything about that in the handbook. I agree with you, they don’t need to show them the book. It’s completely unnecessary and I think that it probably causes more harm than good.

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  4. amommasview says:

    As you said many parents don’t take about it and don’t teach them about safe sex either. So I guess it is good that the schools do it. But I agree with you: They should tone it down. The stories I’ve heard from parents all make me think “porn” and “over the top” and I am not prude… There are things that don’t belong in a classroom. Things that have to be figured out or discovered.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It is good since they need to hear it somewhere, and from a good source preferably. A book like this would probably make you feel prude – it did me, just for the fact that I knew that kids were seeing this same booklet. You’re absolutely right about some things needing to be discovered on their own. They certainly don’t need to be taught those things at school.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. DId all of the parents get this information before their children did?????? I would have totally panicked and now I am thinking of my grandchildren getting this in the future. THough I am confident in my children teaching them, I still don’t want that kind of thing handed to a child.

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  6. Doobster418 says:

    Can you please send me a copy of that sex education handbook so that I can judge for myself? And please send it overnight delivery as it’s important that I read thoroughly, from cover to cover, and assess it as soon as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. April says:

    I think it should be taught at home, but because some parents don’t do it, I guess the educational system thinks we need to have instruction. I had to pay close attention by reading the school district’s newsletter, but any material used in the curriculum are offered to parents prior to exposing. I would have had quite a bit to say. I’m glad you opted out.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I agree. They need to be taught somewhere. Being aware of what our kids our learning is so important, and I’m glad that they make available the material before teaching it. This class was only mentioned to me for the fact that he’s in special needs classes. Had he not been, would they have still mentioned it? I don’t know, but I’d sure hope so.

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  8. Prajakta says:

    Ah! We never had sex ed in school. During biology class, when we used to study about the reproductive system, the teacher used to close the doors so that no one outside would know. Imagine – the complete opposite. I don’t know if I am better off with or without, since discussions with parents in India is also rare or next to none.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Wow, what a difference. I think I’d prefer it your way. I do believe that discussion is very important, but I also think that if people aren’t careful, then it can quickly be taken too far. There’s a line for sure. Kids need to know, but not know too much.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Glynis Jolly says:

    I’m with you. Although I think sex ed should be taught, I think a science text book would be more appropriate. The emotional part of sex needs to be addressed but I would think that could be handled with group discussions.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I agree with you. A science text book would be much more fitting than a graphic handbook. As for the emotional piece, that’s certainly important and I think you’re right about the group discussion. That would be a great way to understand how both genders feel, without simply being taught how to feel.

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  10. I’m in total agreement with you. This is the type of sex-ed that’s being proposed for our school curriculums here in Ontario Canada. It’s highly controversial. I think that this is not only inappropriate information for children, but it will expose them to images that will intrigue them and, as you say, make them want to experiment. My fear is that such a curriculum will make children easier prey for pedophiles. Sex-ed is primarily the parents’ responsibility. I’d rather see an effort to educate parents on how best to educate their children. Then it would be left to the parents’ discretion how much information to give their children and when.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I agree with that. It is, or should be, the parents’ responsibility to teach this topic to their children, when they feel it is best suited for them. Children grow and mature at different levels, so what may be common knowledge to one child, may be something brand new to another. I believe that this degree of graphic curriculum is way over the top and should never be implemented in schools.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jaklumen says:

      How would you see this effort be implemented?

      Don’t get me wrong– I do agree that parents should be empowered. But I think that some school districts take a strong approach because they figure parents WON’T take this responsibility and that the need is there. Interestingly, from my few observations, this seems to be a stronger sentiment in metropolitan areas than in small towns.

      Cimmy and I are educating our kids, and to different degrees (our son, our 2nd, has autism), but I’ll save that for another reply.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s a fair point. My sentiments towards sex-ed in schools is not that it shouldn’t happen. I think that schools are in a privileged position to help parents with the children’s sexual education. The issue for me is how much information this curriculum is trying to give children at a far too young age. I think it’s also fair to say that not all parents take the responsibility to educate their children on such matters. I for one never got the “birds-and-the-bees” talk growing up, and so my curiosity got the best of me and I looked for answers in not-so-wholesome ways. Proper sex-ed in schools could have helped me out there as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jaklumen says:

          Yes, agreed. I’m sure many parents don’t know how to bring up the topic, and the schools would do well to devise a thoughtful and sensitive way to educate them on how to do it.

          My experience was just a little bit different. I got WAY too much information from my parents at first– they showed me the parts, on themselves, when I was 6, when I couldn’t understand. As I got older and understood better, they got progressively silent. By the time sex ed started, it was too late. While my 5th grade male classmates were laughing in embarrassment (save a buddy of mine- he explained to me why they were laughing), I was basically asking if anal sex was a thing. By middle school, I was bullied and shamed for my porn habit (guys especially shamed me as a freak).

          My wife and I are both survivors of abuse (there’s more to my story, but I’m trying to be brief about it), so we took this responsibility pretty seriously. I think we still could have benefited, more so because we found out the hard way that educating our son is more difficult. His schoolteacher alerted us to a mistake, but there were no recommendations on how to improve. Granted, I think sex ed for special needs kids is a level of difficulty unto itself– I don’t know if there are even any resources as such.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. markbialczak says:

    I think it’s way TMI, Me Who. Too Much Information for schools to be providing, in other words, Me Who. But … to play devil’s advocate here for a moment … If the teacher handled it correctly, taught the subject matter-of-factly without any snickering or ba-ba-booming allowed or encouraged or tolerated in the least bit, maybe it would demythify the act and make it more a regular part of life that need to be addressed wisely. … Never mind. It’s too much information.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I think that teaching sex ed in school is needed (since many kids aren’t taught at home), and when it is taught correctly it gives the children information that will help them to make wise (er) choices. But there should definitely be a limit. I think that everything that needs to be discussed can be, without all the additional info and their corresponding pictures. You’re certainly right about it being TMI. Way too much information. Even as an adult, I felt that I needed to cover my eyes.

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  12. jaklumen says:

    Reblogged this on the tao of jaklumen and commented:
    As survivors of abuse, Cimmorene and I feel that education about sex and sexuality is important, to empower our children against such abuse. But where does this fit in public schooling? mewhoami shares her experience that some schools (such as her son’s high school) may have gone to the extreme.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow! I’m okay with some form of sex ed but that pamphlet sounds extreme! That’s a tough one but it’s good that you were able to make a choice and opt not to have your son attend. Ay, Dios Mio!

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    • mewhoami says:

      It sure was. I had never seen anything like that – not for children anyway. Terrible. I’m glad that I was able to opt him out, but I think that the choice was only presented to me because of him being in a special needs class. I don’t know if other parents were given the same choice.

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