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Why I Love Talking About Sex

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 10:34 AM by MarisWonder

Why I Love Talking About Sex
There are over 43 million people between the ages of 15-24 in the United States (http://www.indexmundi.com/united_sta...s_profile.html) all of whom at some point will have questions about or engage in activities involving: sex, sexuality, relationships and (sexual) health. In the US, the average age in which people begin to participate in sex is about 17 and 48 percent of high school students admit to engaging in sexual activity (http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...peds.2012-3495). These numbers are pretty high, right? So why is it we still stigmatize humans for being sexually active? (Even though all mammals participate in sexual and homosexual activity, humans stigmatize it)
In high school, I did not receive a sex education. Nor in middle school...or elementary. The odd thing is though, I knew (the concept of) what sex was in the second grade.
In elementary school I received menstrual (or puberty) education in the 5th grade. They told us to put on deodorant because we would grow armpit hair and gave us little sample bags with deodorant, pads (instructions included) and guides about our bodies and resources for us to learn more (I just discovered that beinggirl.com is still active. Thanks! You guys helped a lot). This was probably the most useful education I received relating to my body.
Then in middle school, I received an STD education. You read that correctly. They claimed it was sex education, but I learned nothing about sex- except that I don't have a penis. They told us that sex leads to a baby or an STD or both. That if my period started in school I could make a temporary pad out of toilet paper. We looked at posters about gonorrhea and chlamydia, and then for some reason I remember watching a video on perseverance but I cannot remember how that even related. They reminded us to wear deodorant and that was basically the end of that.
Then once again in high school, I received a “required” health class about date rape. That's essentially all the class consisted of. We were told not to be date raped and to avoid this do not attend parties or go on dates alone. Not quite sure what they told the boy's class, but we were told how ineffective condoms are. Because the class was a part of PE, they reminded us to wear deodorant as well. We never learned about healthy or unhealthy relationships, but we did learn that HIV is not good.
After all of these “classes” I went home and watched videos. My mother would check out or buy me books relating to sex and puberty and I would read them. She formed my love of research (at least on sex). I would read these books and watch videos and play games about the menstrual cycle...and it wasn't until recently that I realized that not everyone I had gone to school with received the same education as I did.
The HIV rate in my home county is 7.39% (http://std-clinics.healthgrove.com/l...lth-Department) (that's only of those tested/officially diagnosed) and the neighboring county ranks #7 on the list of top 10 counties living with HIV/AIDs in North Carolina (http://www.starnewsonline.com/articl...CLES/130109968).
In my hometown people don't understand the meaning of consent. Men think they “deserve” sex and young girls- believing they cannot simply survive without a boyfriend- give it to them regardless of if they truly want it or not. Condoms are almost unheard of. Girls are coaxed into risking their lives, and their futures.
In my hometown, girls believe they must be married or in a relationship to be happy. Skipping school, dropping out, not going to college, getting married straight out of high school, because they simply want to be a trophy wife. Who needs an education, right? The patriarchy rules all at home.
So, this is why I love talking about sex. I've had the opportunity to learn so much, and others my age have not. I want to teach small, rural areas about sex- so that all parties can enjoy. I want to help people understand that gender and sexuality are not binary. I want to give others the opportunity that I had to go out and find for myself. I want to help others learn to be safe, smart and accept others for their sexualities and lifestyles. It will take a long time, and a lot of education is involved…but I can do it. As my mother likes to say….I have what it takes. I have a lot of “muchness”.
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