sex education

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How I Learned About Sex, In 8 Vignettes

I’m fifteen. A man has come to our school to tell us girls how to protect ourselves from rape.

Melissa asked my mom for a banana and said, “All of the ones at my house have condoms on them.”

First Love and Condom-Covered Bananas

Standing in the kitchen of my South Beach condo, I hear in my head what my mom said during my recent visit to California. “Be more vulnerable,” she pleaded while doling out unsolicited dating advice. I break a banana from the bunch on the counter and hastily peel it, shoving it in my mouth as I think of my defense. Is my mother really asking me to expose myself to harm? Showing softness has never come easily. But then the banana reminds me of my childhood best friend, Melissa. I could be soft with her, and she with me. We were vulnerable with each other, even mushy.

[M]any doctors aren’t properly educated on matters of sexual health. Image: Thinkstock.

Our Schools And Doctors Don't Get That Contraception Goes Beyond The Pill

While there are numerous contraceptives that fall under the umbrella of “birth control,” people in North America have many misconceptions surrounding their options in this sphere.

Young people deserve to have information about where, when, and how to access abortion. Image: Thinkstock.

Why We Need To Include Abortion In Sex Ed

Even though in the U.S., abortion is a safe and legal option, conservative lawmakers in my state have made sure that among the hundreds of regulations restricting access to legal abortion, restricting the mere mention of it in public schools is up at the tippy top.


BREAKING: Purity Rings Don't Work

30% of girls who took purity pledges experienced pregnancy before marriage. To put that into perspective: only 18% of non-pledgers experienced pregnancy before marriage.

I too, was a baby woman. A child with breasts she had no clue what to do with.

I Was A Child With Breasts I Had No Clue What To Do With

I got my first period when I was ten. I was at a family friend’s house. I went to the bathroom and there it was, staring back at me. Thankfully I had already been taught about ‘what to expect’ when it happened. So a short while later when we arrived home, I calmly told my mum and she showed me where she kept the pads and tampons. That was that.

It wasn’t long before boobs, cramps and hair in foreign places followed.

“What’s a clitoris?” my friend blurted out.

When It Comes To Sex Education, Less Than 7% Of Young Women Learn About Pleasure

Isn’t this what we want for young women? Education about this most secret and awesome part of our bodies bestows young women with the knowledge that we are not simply subjects for men to gaze upon and lust after. That our bodies are not just receptacles for sperm and gestating a baby. That sex is supposed to be pleasurable and that if it isn’t than it’s ok to say no. Knowing our clitoris gives us sexual agency that society denies us at every turn and it is the responsibility of schools and parents to empower young women with this knowledge.


Chanel Preston: Sex Educator, Adult Film Star

Those who can't, teach . . . but those who can, teach way better.