Talking about sex with your kid may not be your idea of a good time, but it's necessary, especially here in America. With sex education so abysmal in many public school districts, parents have to step in and make things clearer for their children. In fact, there's one sex ed lesson your kid needs that they might not be getting in their sex education classes, and it's a big one.
Your kids need to know that sex is healthy, consensual, and normal.
And the results of teaching your child this? So worth it. In our country, most sex education classes are based on abstinence or teaching kids about the possibility of pregnancy or contracting an STD. But even those latter courses aren't necessarily informative. According to the Guttmacher Institute, only 13 states are required to be medically accurate when teaching sex and HIV education. And more than half of the states in this country? They stress abstinence-only sex education.
It's like the current sex education implemented in America aims to scare your children rather than educate them. Actually, calling it "sex education" is ridiculous. In a country where the teen pregnancy rate is significantly higher than other western industrialized nations, it's obvious the classes on sex aren't working.
The sex education in this country is teaching your children that sex is something dirty, scary, and not normal. According to the LA Times, one school district in Mississippi used a piece of unwrapped candy, passed around the room, to show teenage boys how "dirty" a girl is once she's been sexually active. It promotes slut-shaming, it takes away any chance of your child having a sex-positive relationship, and it doesn't even touch on consent and how important it is.
How can schools teach your children all the dangers and fears about sex without teaching them how to properly protect themselves? Why touch on STDs and pregnancy if they aren't going to talk about contraception? As Debra Hauser, President of Advocates for Youth, told Bustle, safe sex and consent need to be as normalized as any other curriculum in school. Instead of teaching children about the dangers of sex and all the things that can go wrong, sex education should focus on teaching kids that sex is normal, that their urges to have it are normal, and that they are deserving of a consensual, healthy sexual relationship.
Only two states in this country are prohibited from using religion in sex and HIV education, which means it's time to start the conversation at home. Your kids need to know that while there are certain outcomes of sex they'd like to avoid, such as STDs and teen pregnancy, that they are able to have safe, consensual sex without feeling guilty.
Sex is normal, it's healthy, and if you're going to teach your kids the dangers of it, then it's time to teach them how to avoid them.