Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

sex ed

Years ago I started this website called advicenators, where people gave each other advice about whatever. There were hordes of teens on it. Eventually it got so big that I couldn't balance work, school, and website, plus the guys I was leasing a server from were none too happy about code written by me being on their site. They were convinced there were security holes, and scared me into getting rid of it. So I did... gave it away (it turns out the security issues we were having were from third-party software... so I panicked for nothing). Now it's not mind. and it's so plastered with advertisements that I don't know how anyone gets advice... but that's another entry entirely.

Anyway if I could name one thing I learned from running a website with 10,000 teenagers asking questions, it's this: abstinence-only sex education does not work.

I think some people think that sex ed is like math: kids will know what you tell them. But it's really the opposite, because only a few kids are really curious about math. They're ALL curious about sex. So even if they're not having it, they want to know about it.

And if they're not given reliable information, they will make shit up. Or believe whatever their friends made up. The questions we got on that site were incredible... these teenagers had no idea what would or wouldn't get them pregnant, which sexual activities came with lower risk of pregnancy/STDs, which of their friends crazy theories were true. So they'd come to us.

If anything, I think sex ed is good because it's presented in boring medical terms that make it seem pretty unexciting. That's what I remember feeling about it. Hearing about it as this forbidden amazingness you can only learn about online or with a partner is way more tempting.

Does anyone really take abstinence-only sex ed seriously? Does anyone really think a 16-year-old should be told not to use the word "condom" in class? I mean, really, people.
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