As I have mentioned in previous posts, I grew up in a Christian home. My church preached abstinence because that’s what the Bible says (here are a few verses for reference: Colossians 3:5; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Peter 2:11). I believe it is right that the Christian church preaches abstinence; however, I have some gripes with it as well.
After reading Brad Perry’s article with a ridiculously long name (the main heading is “Hooking Up with Healthy Sexuality), I was surprised to learn how much money our country spends on sexual education, with little to show for it.
The church is not entirely to blame and neither are parents or schools. I think our country needs a different approach. Some European countries, who have some of the best sexual health statistics in the world, use a couple different methods, like:
-Incorporating sexual education into all types of curriculum, not just on its own
-Morality of Sexual Behavior
-Address issues of around cultural diversity
-Research as the basis for public policies…political and religious interest groups have little influence on public health policies.
When I attended youth functions at church, I was taught that as a woman, men are going to pressure you to have sex.
“He could tell you he loves you so many times, but that still doesn’t mean you should have sex with him.”
“Don’t have sex with him so he’ll stay with you.”
“Respect yourselves. Dress appropriately.”
I think churches need to be teaching girls and boys not to give into pressure of having sex if they aren’t ready. This teaching to girls implies that only men are sexual beings, and we are there to serve their needs. No, not okay.
While I don’t think girls should be prancing the streets in lingerie, and that they should respect themselves, clothing choices need to be omitted from sexual health programs, in my opinion.
If we teach girls that they are sex objects, men believe that to be true.
Instead, sexual education programs need to teach both boys and girls RESPECT and CONSENT.
NO means NO. Clothing DOES NOT MATTER.
I could honestly rant about this topic for hours, but I’ll conclude with how I would incorporate sex ed into my classroom:
I would teach the book speak by Laurie Halse Andersen (If you have not read it, STOP what you are doing, read it, then come back).
This book is about a young teenager who is raped at a party and suffers depression and bullying afterwards. This book is a great way to not only teach students about consent, but also to teach them that they can get help if they have been assaulted in their pasts.
Sexual education involves a wide scope of things, such as STIs, unplanned/unwanted pregnancies, rape/sexual assault, peer pressure, etc. Instead of constantly preaching about abstinence, there needs to be more education about the negative consequences of sex.
Stepping off of my soapbox for now.