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Monday, March 25, 2013
Re: the Steubenville, Ohio rape:
I keep hearing people ask, how did this happen? It would be more accurate to ask, why doesn’t this happen more often? The reality is sadly simple. We as a society send very confused signals regarding sex and sexuality in this country.
I remember the first sex-ed classes ... must have been somewhere around 1970. They were so incredibly awkward that porno magazines were better educators. I am serious when I say that.
Sex education has to be, not necessarily graphic, but explicit if it is to do any good — and it has to go into the mental and emotional differences between the sexes and what is allowable and what is not.
The problem we have with sex in this country is it’s juvenile. We are saturated with sexual images. Have you ever seen a Little Miss beauty pageant? It’s obscene. And yet for all the sexual innuendoes, poorly disguised jokes (think “Two and a Half Men”), movies (think “American Pie” or “Girls Gone Wild” or any other films aimed at teenagers), advertisements, etc., all done with a snicker and a wink, we have a shortage of images of what an adult, mature sexual life looks like.
Add to this mix the ongoing puritanical attitude toward sex that actually goes hand in hand with the above, is it any wonder kids (not to mention adults) are confused and messed up regarding sexuality?
What would a truly adult and mature sexual education class look like? For one, it would include classes on tolerance, compassion and respect. What constitutes a sane healthy relationship and what does not.
It would go into what is legal and illegal. It would include classes on sexual preference and gender (and transgender) issues, on what it means to be masculine and to be a man, as well as classes on what it means to be feminine and to be a woman. Men’s issues, women’s issues, lectures on what is considered abuse and violence, not to mention why they are wrong.
There would be discussions on not just straight/gay/bisexual matters but fetishes and deviant behavior. I would include classes on sexual health and diseases and other similar issues such as premature ejaculation, nymphomania, frigidity, etc. There would be ongoing discussions on matters such as sexual politics, abortion, adoption and so forth.
Only after those matters were covered would they get down to the nuts and bolts of what goes where and what happens when a sperm meets an egg.
That would be mature and adult sexual education — in other words, a class dealing with life and one of its most important and sensitive aspects. Let’s face it, as long as we keep issues such as life, career, spirituality and sexuality pigeonholed into neat little compartments, we cannot have a sane, healthy life. They are interlocked aspects of what constitutes a person, a life.
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