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What we should be teaching our kids about sex

By April 23, 2014Sex and Intimacy


A Mississippi sex education class pushed back time and not in a good way earlier this month.

Here is a quote from an article that described what took place:

“A curriculum adopted by over 60 percent of Mississippi school districts instructs teachers to put on purity preservation exercises, like one that prompts students to “unwrap a piece of chocolate, pass it around class and observe how dirty it became.”

As Marie Barnard, a Mississippi public health worker and parent, told the Los Angeles Times:

“They’re using the Peppermint Pattie to show that a girl is no longer clean or valuable after she’s had sex—that she’s been used … That shouldn’t be the lesson we send kids about sex.”

If you want to read the entire article, you can click here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/04/03/mississippi_sex_ed_class_compares_women_to_dirty_peppermint_patties.html

The good news is that some mothers fought back and there has been some reform but apparently not throughout the entire state.

My opinion is that sex education is only as good as the people devising the curriculum and the one who is teaching it.  Young people need to be taught about how to make responsible choices about their sexuality, but the teaching should not be fear based or intended to associate sex with something inherently negative.

When young people learn negative associations with sex such as what these Mississippi schools were doing, these young people grow up and often have sexual issues.  I have helped many adults who got fear- based advise from parents and other authority figures where they learned unnecessarily negative beliefs about sex.  Then I would help them deprogram and reprogram so that they could have a healthy sexual relationship with another adult.

There are ways to help teenagers and young adults make choices that align with their truest values and best self.  These negative messages are unnecessary.  With good sexual information and good teaching of how to think about one’s sexual choices, these young people have a higher probability of making good choices.

What I have witnessed is that parents who create an emotional atmosphere of openness, acceptance and listening along with encouraging their children to talk about difficult subjects such as sex seem to have the best kind of influence on their children’s sexual choices.

Having simple answers or being close-minded to the complexities and conflicts of the adolescent mind actually encourages more disconnection between parents and child and ultimately can indirectly lead to poor sexual choices on the part of the adolescent.

  • Adolescents need to be heard and when they are, they are less apt to act out or rebel.

  • Parents often need to get educated themselves as to the best way to approach these sexual conversations with their adolescent children.

Knowledge is power and as a parent we want to have the power to guide our budding adult children through those turbulent adolescent times.

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