Less Than 20% of Teen Girls Get Sex Ed Before Their First Time

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 09:48
Submitted by Carlin Ross

This is why I'm devoting my life to developing an online/mobile/social sex ed curriculum that kids can watch on their cell phones because we'll never get it in schools. 

Less than 20% of teen girls received any sort of sex ed before having vaginal sex for the first time.  Notice that the only information they receive is about birth control and how to "say no".  There's nothing about masturbation, how to say yes, clitoral anatomy, penetration, orgasm, or pleasure.  I could go on and on.  

It's time to acknowledge that our children are sexual beings.  Fetuses masturbate in utero...toddlers touch themselves to connect their genitals to their brains...teens will have vaginal sex.   I made it a point to educate my younger sister about sex.  Not only did she have sex on her terms and orgasm, but she didn't have vaginal sex until she was 18 years old.  

Denying teen girls sex information is beyond abusive.  It sets them on a path to teen pregnancy, STDs, and lack of orgasm.  How about a little selflove and pleasure for the mothers of tomorrow?

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

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For me,  it' s like putting

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:48
lsjb (not verified)

For me,  it' s like putting the horse before the cart.  There is  not one course in grade school forward that talks about emotions and relationships.  Girls and boys need to become skillful at communicating and empowering themselves in a respectful way.
Sex Ed is extremely important but, as you know, Pleasure is not part of the curricula either.
There's a lot of work to be done.

Re: On-line Teens Sex Forum

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 13:07

I was wondering what's the background to the statistics in the US ie. what is the minimum requirement set for sex-ed, does the US have a national curriculum that would cover the basics, is it variable from State to State?

Also, is there an age specific requirement that creates the timing anomaly ie. most women (90%) receive some formal sex-education before the age of 18 but that's too late since 80% or so have already had vaginal sex. Teaching sex-ed at 17/18 years of age seems pretty lame even by UK standards.

Sex-ed in the UK is regarded as quite poor and probably the root cause of one of the highest teenage pregancy rates in Europe. Whilst there is a minimum level of information set in PHSE, parents can withdraw their kids from these classes, so perhaps the kids most in need of information can miss out.

Both of my girls (ages 14 &16) have gone to fairly liberal schools. As a result as well as the basic biological facts around puberty, sex and conception, they've also already discussed the (curriculum optional) topics of birthcontrol, safe sex, STDs and alternative non hetero- sex relationships.

Whilst I'm not unhappy with the education my girls have received so far, I'd wouldn't want to have left it just to the schools.

There's a definite gap between the (mostly) negative/cautious factual education provided and the (mostly) fun reality of sex. It's a gap that parents can't fill. A forum something like this website but directed more specifically to adolescents and young teens would be incredibly valuable

I really hope that you can make the online teens project a reality.

The importance of sex education for all children

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 14:03

These are points well taken, Carlin. Although you don't specifically mention boys, I would assume that you're also concerned about them and that the percentage of boys kept in ignorance is similarly high, which contributes greatly to the problems you identify in girls. I think that all young people need high-quality, sex-positive training, not only for themselves but for their future partners. They need to understand that they can enjoy many forms of solo, manual, and oral sex without rushing into PIV sex that needlessly risks pregnancy and STDs.

Our culture's tenacious but false idea that 'having sex' and 'having intercourse' are the same thing also sets young people up for major disappointment, because besides being risky, PIV sex often just isn't that much fun, especially if the partners are ignorant about sexual response. I think that sex-positive kids who are well-informed about all aspects of sexuality aren't going to rush into penile-vaginal sex. They'll understand their own sexual responses and their partners' typical responses as well, and they'll be able to discover sex in a safe, mutually respectful, and enjoyable manner. Best wishes in developing your sex-positive curriculum.

Scarleteen and Cherry TV

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 17:39

NLH, to the best of my knowledge there is no nationally mandated sex-ed curriculum in the US. Sex education is left not only to each state, but seems to vary considerably from school district to school district. In many communities there is vocal opposition to any sex education whatsoever. I'd like to learn more about the status of sex education in the US myself. National standards for sex education have been developed in the States but they don't have the force of law as far as I know: http://www.futureofsexed.org/fosestandards.html

In the meantime, there is a site called Scarleteen that's been around for 15 years and is directed at teenagers and young women. Many teens seem to know about it and like it. I might also mention cherrytv.com; this is a site run by and for young women and features round-table discussions and candid interviews on all aspects of sexuality including pleasure and relationships. The women are young, 18 to 30 years old, and are very open and supportive of one another.

on-line sex ed for girls

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 08:03
samsagirl62 (not verified)

My daughter is 13 years old, and we live in a red-state with a fundamentalist religious majority. The sex-ed available in school is abstinence only and is entirely heteronormative. My daughter is queer. No acknowledgement is made that anything other than opposite sex sex exists. This needs to be addressed. It is awkward enough being a teen, but having your sexuality entirely erased by the curriculum is tragic.