From The Confessional: Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Is Not Actually Sex Ed At All

by Karen Johnson

If there’s one thing we know to be true about human beings, is that we’re sexual creatures. All genders, all corners of the world, from teens all the way up to the elderly in their assistant-living condos. That’s why avoiding talking about it—about how to be safe, the importance of consent, and the emotional aspects of sharing this experience with another person—solves nothing. “Abstinence-only sexual education” confuses and shames kids and prepares them in no way for the inevitable adult life that lies in their future. And, it allows the adults in the room to ignore and accept zero responsibility for the fact that teenagers do have sex—they always have. And that choice has consequences that their parents, teachers, legislators, and healthcare providers must prepare them for.

So yes, comprehensive sexual education is an absolute must for young people. (And if you missed it as a kid because your parents are the Duggars, and instead of preparing you for the real world, obsessed over some antiquated notion of “virginity”—which isn’t a real thing—then do yourself a favor and educate yourself now. Today. As an adult. Learn the ins and outs of your body, your partner’s body, what works, how it works, what doesn’t work, how to protect yourself, and, if you’re a parent, make sure your kids are learning all of it too.)

i never had the sex talk or any sex education. of course i made bad choices,still have not recovered. give your daughter the talk, books that explain it properly, and toys. having orgasms is better than having a pregnancy and medical problems and pain.

Confessional #25851736

I have vivid memories of masturbating to orgasm when I was 8, 9, 10 years old. After the "sex ed" day at school, I stopped... Felt intense shame and like there was something wrong with me. Have not had an orgasm since :-(

Confessional #1635839

The Sex Ed I received in school was entirely biological.  I really wish it had also covered the emotional and psychological aspects of sex and sexuality.  The biology is pretty straight forward - it's the emotional that has been a total minefield for me.

Confessional #25774793

First of all, sex is not just biological. It’s emotional. And it should be pleasurable. It should not be shameful, and any “sex ed” program that brainwashes kids into thinking it is shameful, or omits discussion of consent, emotional impact, and pleasure, isn’t actually sex ed at all.

I've always been pro-choice. I thought pregnancy might change this somehow. If anything, it's made me pro-abortion. There are so many people who should have wrapped it up or terminated the results. Comprehensive sex ed, pls!

Confessional #1749289

Proud to live in a country where abortion rates are low because decent sex education, free accessible birth control/health care. However, if needed, the right to an abortion is generally not questioned.

Confessional #25848778

I'm Christian and I don't think abortion should be banned. I think there should be more focus on sex education (not abstinence only) and access to affordable birth control. Oh and I did NOT vote for trump.

Confessional #3256864

Sexual education should 100% include a discussion about abortion. And, spread the news, folks! For the outspoken anti-abortion activists out there, did you now that the MOST effective way to prevent abortions is by providing adequate sex ed, access to birth control, and proper healthcare?! Yep! It’s not—hold on to your hat, Gertrude—outlawing it. That method actually doesn’t stop or reduce abortion rates. But sex ed does!

During puberty girls breasts grow a lot. I never realized until now(30’s) that this happens to males too except it’s their genitals. I had good sex education but only about my own sex.

Confessional #14125888

I believe Sex Ed for girls should teach the fact that men have sex with zero emotional attachment. And they should explain the various ways men manipulate women emotionally to get sex. M

Confessional #25834311

I vow to do way better by my children when it comes to sex Ed. Girls should know they deserve an orgasm every single time too & boys should know how to give instead of always just expecting to receive. My own sex life has been a complete disappointment.

Confessional #25776997

Also, it’s important that people with penises don’t just learn about penises. Same for people with vaginas. We all need to learn all the things—what happens to boys, girls, how sex can be manipulated and used as a control tactic, and how a healthy sexual relationship is respectful and has give-and-take. All. The. Things.

Sex ed helped me as a teenager. I wish theyd bring it back in schools. Lets scare the shit out of these kids and have honest convos with girls about motherhood and their bodies. Why is sex ed so taboo?

Confessional #25813572

Part of sex ed I gave to DC was to break down the EXACT costs of having a child year by year, including all those involved just in pregnancy and having the baby itself. Judging by their reactions, I think it was pretty effective.

Confessional #15842966

When teaching kids about sex Ed, show them the blue waffle info and tell them that happens to people who don't use condoms. Teens are going to have sex - we need to emphasize safe sex

Confessional #1406722

There are different schools of thought on whether the most effective sexual education for teens scares the shit out of them or not. It’s important that even if we rattle them a little—like hey, one unprotected encounter could literally change your life, and also, kids are expensive AF—we also educate them. If it’s all fear and no facts, we aren’t helping. They still need to understand birth control. And consent. And that sex is a big deal and can change everything.

Caught my DD and her bf sexting. Completely surprised her by supporting her and using it as a signal that she is ready for complete sex ed+ family planning discussions. She's been so happy around the house now.

Confessional #1730018

Sex ed is like potty training your kid. Sex is a bodily function. Asking them not to do it is like asking them not to poop. Teach them what they need to "poop" properly so I don't have to clean up a bigger mess later.

Confessional #1405120

Abolishing sex ed classes in high school on the grounds that they'll "give teenagers ideas" is ridiculous. Their hormones are in overdrive. They've already got ideas! Way to maximize teen pregancy, morons!

Confessional #1359189

Because here’s the truth, whether the pearl-clutching Marys want to believe it or not. Teenagers have sex. And if they don’t, they are doing to as adults. So they need proper sexual education. We are doing them a drastic, harmful disservice by avoiding this topic. By pretending it isn’t happening. By teaching “abstinence-only” sex ed (which, sorry Barbara, that’s actually NOT sex ed at all). It’s not fair to them, and it’s neglectful and abusive to the teens and young adults who are counting on us.

Sex ed is as essential as every other form of healthcare. As essential as every other piece of our children’s education. It’s a far greater charge than the old “Don’t have sex until you’re married” talk. Come on over into 2021, Jim Bob. The real world lives here.