Parents' shirking of responsibility in sex ed.

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by B_liono, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. B_liono

    B_liono New Member

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    So something I've thought about off and on through my life from adolescence to now is the growing lack of sexual education given to adolescents by parents.

    I'm going off my own backgrounds here: American who hit and went through puberty in the late 90s and to the mid 00s. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who has missed some of these what I think are dire need-to-know bits of information. It seems that in the US at least, quite a generalisation I'm making here, but it seems that nowadays kids don't get the sexual education they need. Meaning, they don't get the sex talk from their parents. I know mine never once brought up the sex talk with me, and then when I was more than midway through puberty and got asked about a small question on my developing into an adult body, I got embarrassed by it. Why, I think to myself did I feel that way? Because the talk should have been had much earlier. Either way, I still never got the sex talk from either of my folks. Just like many other parents they shirked off the responsibility and duty of the parent-child sex talk to the school. True, I am a bit miffed I never got that, but now that I'm an adult I know all I need to, it's just that it is a talk that every child should receive from their parents.

    So many parents just dump it in the laps of the schools, which luckily we do get some sexual education there. But it's very skewed information, totally impersonal and highly scientific, it has its place, but it's not enough for a well-rounded education on sex/sexual development/sexuality. Schools and teachers don't feel comfortable with that becase these kids aren't their own children, and the schools have been extremely limited. Teachers feel and know that students are seeking them to provide them with knowledge of the academic sides of learning about sex and that's good and all since school is an academic environment, so a scientific approach is appropriate. But teachers also know that what students really want is on-hand knowledge of sexual situations and to be able to be open in having their concerns and questions about sex answered in a personal context. However, the same parents that have shirked their responsibilities and dropped sexual education in the laps of the schools are the same people who have drawn lines for the schools to not cross or be threatened by a lawsuit for inappropriateness. This is a touchy area and because of course schools seek to avoid that difficulty posed them if they 'go too far' they teach a very impersonal and not-quite directly applicable approach to knowledge of sex, sexuality and development.

    I remember being in 8th grade, the boys as always were separated from the girls and we were in our classroom getting ready for sex ed, ready to read up on the books that were boring and seemed very distant from what our ideas of sex were and to watch movies made way back in the day showing side-view diagrams of the male anatomy that we couldn't really identify with or parallel our bodies with, no real picture just a description and lack of any imagination in discerning this is how our bodies are, yet we all have different bodies, different growths, different experiences. So our coach came in and said to us "Do you want to know how to have the best sex of your life?" That got our attention straight away, as we'd been fed the same boring scientific side of sexual education for the past 3 years. Of course we wanted to know, we were starved to actually be learning real on-hand sexual knowledge about the actual deed and intimacy. And what did we get? "Use a condom" That was it, such a disappointment, and never during my school-based sex ed classes did we ever actually learn how to use a condom or diaphragm, no one actually showed us with a model or fingers, granted condoms are very user-friendly but to be honest the very first time I tried using a condom was around 17 (was trying out using one to jack off) and I had it in my mind, having never been showed how one goes on the penis, that it went down the shaft and also you pulled it over your balls. Imagine the difficulty posed me with my size endowment and testicles, yeah I struggled with putting that on for a long while until the condom just broke and ultimately I did figure out how it is really supposed to go on, just like it took me a while to figure out that I require magnum-sized not regular, yet I was never taught that or anything much about condoms with a solely school-based sexual education. And to this day I still don't know how diaphragms are used, nor what they look like (I can google, just saying it was always a vague idea of an object in my head, never a realised perceived and seen thing). In school we never touched base on masturbation either, but were just told that wet dreams happen (to this day I've still never had a wet dream, I thought something was wrong with me when I was a teen because I never did have one. Why? Because no one told me about masturbation in that if you jack off you won't get them) just like the school never told us anything involving the intimate side of sex, it was all academic and scientific and that is okay for school, but school's academic curriculum of sexual education must be supplemented by the parents' personal kind of relaying knowledge about sex and intimacy.

    So thinking about it, the things schools should teach about sex are of course scientific and based on academic ideology. Schools should divulge knowledge on things like: pregnancy, STDs, function of sexual organs, practice of safe-sex, and sexual development. But parents need to provide that other side and divulge these sets of knowledge to their children: relationships and intimacy, self-discovery (i.e. talking about masturbation or sexuality), peer dynamics (i.e. you're going to be different from your peers in your development, or that you may feel like you want to experiment sexually), safe-sex practices of course (with info on how to use safe-sex contraceptives like a possible demonstration of putting on a condom modelling with the fingers, not actual genitalia), and of course sexual development (especially since heredity will play some role, there would then more likely be more insight).

    But the issue with this thing of parents shirking the sex ed responsibilities entirely I think stems from a skewed parent-child dynamic. Many parents feel that the sex talk is an uncomfortable territory with their child and granted it's no walk in the park, but it's dire information and it's a parent's duty to divulge that and educate their children on sex. Lack of sex education on the parents' part leaves a lot of kids with a very incomplete and blind view of what sex really is, the intimacy and relationships involved in that, and other issues such as kids feeling unaware or uncomfortable with their own/other's bodies or both.

    It is vital that parents should give the sex talk to their kids and I think it is sad that in this day and age it isn't really happening like it should. Parental involvement, input, and education on sex, sexuality, and sexual development provides a facet of personal knowledge that schools just can't reach (or dare to be dealt with impunitive measures in being called inappropriate). This knowledge that parents can give children is personal unlike that of the school, and through the divulgence of that, serves to strengthen the bonds and relationships of the parent-child dynamic. In that, is a gateway for better communication and understanding between parents and children, a comfortability, faith and trust. I know, having never been given the sex talk from my parents, anything of bringing up a sex topic be it my own personal development/body, or experiences is an extreme no-go. I would never go to them for sexual advice or concerns about sex because it would just feel too uncomfortable to bring up, too embarrassing and had I the sex talk I can guarantee I would feel more open to them on such subjects. Parents giving the sex talk open up that pathway that lets children really connect with being comfortable with their parents and gives them faith and trust in their parents and their parents knowledge on such things.

    So those are my thoughts on sexual education and its diminishing, careless, thrown-to-the-wind output and lack of responsibility on parents' part to take up and do the duty necessary of them to their children in giving them this vital information and knowledge. What do you think?
     
  2. HunggGreek

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    My parents told me diddly-squat, to this day I don't think I've ever heard my mum ever even say the word sex.

    Even if it is awkward it is something parents need to do....
     
  3. Joll

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    Mine gave me a lot of mechanical info when I was little - along with lots of stuff about sticklebacks and chickens having babies, lol.

    They were less good with the emotional side - kinda treating relationships of any kind as taboo and sinful, so it was all a bit weird. Didn't get much support in terms of handling puberty either, cos my Dad is a bit repressed, lol.

    They did care about us tho and I get on great with my Dad now, so you win some you lose some.
     
  4. petite

    petite New Member

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    I absolutely agree.

    My parents didn't tell me anything. A friend filled me in on some of it, school did the rest in 8th grade. It's not the way it should have been. I hope I do a better job as a parent.
     
  5. dolfette

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    my mother gave me some false information.
    but very little was said.

    my kids? they ask me stuff all the time and i always answer. they know about sex, anal, oral, various forms of contraception, and how sex change ops work. i've rolled rubbers onto hairbrush handles, googled diagrams to demonstrate explanations. the house has books or erotic art and sex ed for adults. they know that done right it feels good, done wrong it feels awful and that it's most satisfying when done with love.

    i try!

    my daughter... her sex ed classes are taken by a 30y/o self confessed virgin who blushed throughout. fucking useless!
     
  6. willow78

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    I've been here 3 years.....I still don't have a clue.
     
  7. B_Nia88

    B_Nia88 New Member

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    i was taught from a young age about sex and when i started transitioning at 17 my mom and the women in my family talked to me about sex from the female perspective. i have an amazing family.
     
  8. dolfette

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    you have an amazing family.
     
  9. Charles Finn

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    yes i am 44 and we had no internet 30 years ago we had mags and parents that cared i was raised for the most part by a single father and i was over sexed to boot so most of what i learned about sex i learned form him.
    my sister was about 12 years old and the neighbor boy about 16 wanted her to give him a nob job she came home and said dad what is a knob job we all had a good laugh
     
  10. g_whiz

    g_whiz New Member

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    This is one of the biggest problems I have with the way we teach "sex education" in American culture. From before a child is able to think or understand sex, they're beaten over the head with advertisments with sexual imagery and then told for half of their lives that they shouldn't be thinking about it. The mixed signals and double standards we load into our culture's miseducation on sexuality... its no wonder we've got the highest teen pregnancy rate in the western world.

    Teen Pregnancy Rates In The Usa | LIVESTRONG.COM
     
  11. B_625girth

    B_625girth New Member

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    I was taught the physical differences and "attributes" of each gender, the anatomy. it was in a catholic school in the 60's. the problem was it was taught by people who by their vows were not experienced in sex. we were taught that all sex outside marriage was wrong. masterbation was wrong, wrong, wrong. birth control was a no, no. no day to day knowledge at all. and at the time, I was just starting puberty, and it went in one ear and out the other. most of what we knew that applied to real life, we learned on the street. we saw or heard of girls getting knocked up, back then, they sent them off to have their baby. my bro lived in a bigger city, and he lived across the street from where they sent the girls. big house in a big field, fenced in, nuns ran it.

    mom and dad only got concerned a few yrs later when I had achieved almost full maturity and had inherited pop's sizeable cock. and the neighbor girls were curious. they just told me those girls are getting older and might want you to do things, that you should not do. I had to "read between the lines". dad never said, go to the gas station and buy a condom if you have to. I told my 3 sons, because of AIDS, that don't be embarrassed, come to me or their mother and we will buy condoms for you. I didn't want them to be young fathers or contract the disease.

    there is a time to throw down the politeness, the shyness, and discuss what happens in life, better to talk about it before than to talk about it after, when it may be too late.
     
  12. D_Judith K Rantz

    D_Judith K Rantz New Member

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    My parents really didn't say much. I was homeschooled through high school, as well. I know about protection and all that good stuff, but I guess they wanted me to figure the rest out for myself...
     
  13. Unnamed

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    my sex talk came after i started having sex.
     
  14. hud01

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    What makes you think that it started recently? I never had any kind of talk and that should have been 30 years ago and my school did not have anything either. For you being concise and not writing a novel might have made it easier too.
     
  15. fuglybaby

    fuglybaby Member

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    I actually had the sex talk with my 16 year old neighbor the other day. We've known eachother for many many years. His mother asked me to do so after a certain "accident" (as she puts it) and daddy was never in the picture to begin with. She knew that I was the closest thing to a big brother/father figure that he had. But i dont remember my parents ever having that talk with me!!! So, i did the best i could and answered all his questions and what not (i was more knowledgable than i thought) I also asked what he was taught in school (which was all but useless) so that I could further explain whatever concepts they fed him as well as covered the emotional/intimate aspects of sex.

    I did the ol' banana demo to demonstrate proper usage and explain any possible fit/size issues. He thought that was hilarious, but he also said it made sense now.

    All in all...He probly knows WAY more than his peers now and I left it open so that he can ask me anything anytime.

    Simply put, I think parents are graded at C- (at best) for the talk, and schools get a D+ (at best) just for being all scientific. Obviously there are exceptions, and I applaud those who do there duty as a parent or otherwise to properly educate and help develope the rising generations to come
     
  16. Sempath

    Sempath New Member

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    Yeah, my parents totally let the school teach me everything. That was a bad idea. I went to a southern, christian, conservative high school. They told us about the mechanics of sex, showed us a live birth, then they spent 80% of the sex ed. teaching us about how many diseases we could get. After school the PTA had a special presentation on diseases where they showed me graphic, out of control versions of STD's and Aids. They also included a story of how this one guy had so many diseases they had to cut his little buddy off.

    It was horrible. I never want my kid to go through that. I don't think it's right to scare someone away from something completely normal and natural, like sex. I also haven't mentioned all the religious shit they force fed us about sex either... I'm glad the internet was there for me in high school and college. Once I found out about how curable most STD's are, and how things really were transmitted, I was Pissed and relieved.
     
  17. cd1985

    cd1985 Member

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    I don't really remember a time when I was truly clueless about sex and sexuality. I guess I must've learned through word of mouth, illustrations in books, nudie magazines, etc. It was definitely "old hat" by the time we were taught sex ed in school, despite the fact that I didn't lose my virginity until I was in my 20s.
     
  18. travis1985

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    You're very right that a lot of parents assume that since sex ed is available at school, it's off their plate. The problem is that the school generally offers very little other than a few diagrams and the patronizing, unrealistic, and overly-generalized admonition to use a condom, as if that's a one-size-fits-all truism that's right for all situations and all people (is that true of ANYTHING about sex?). The other problem is that parents wonder how their kids got such a fucked up and skewed view of sex and blame the school. There's no shirking your responsibility to your kids. School-sponsored sex ed is the government and the school system covering their asses so as to be able to say, "Hey, we tried" if anyone turns up pregnant or diseased. It's not a substitute for being a parent and making half an effort to guide your children as they become adults.
     
  19. B_Nia88

    B_Nia88 New Member

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    I am so blessed to have such an amazing extended family. I am the luckiest person on earth.
     
  20. savin107

    savin107 New Member

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    I don't know how old you are, but I'm 26 and a few weeks ago I was in the exact same situation as you with my 16 year old neighbor. His parents are divorced and he never sees his real dad, and even though he does have a step dad that has been around since he was very young, I guess they're not that close and so his mom asked me to have the talk with her son (I'm very close with the whole family and I have known them for a long time). I was very surprised because I am 100% gay and she knows that, but she still felt confortable enough with me having that conversation with her son (or desperate). Either way, I am very comfortable talking about this kind of stuff and do not shy away from using words like "penis" or "vagina".

    I had the condom size talk and how to put one on (using a banana), but I debated in my head wether I should give him a condom to keep, or have him ask me for one when he's ready. I feel like if I gve him one I will be encouraging him to have sex with his girlfriend (at 15 she is not a vigin and has had multiple sex partners, though my 16 yr old neighbor is still a virgin) and if I don't give him a condom she will pressure him into having unprotected sex.

    How did you handle that?

    He did comfy to me that they have exposed themselves to each other and they both have wandering hands while they are making out (just touching), and now his phone has a password because (like he told me) he has "pictures" he doesn't want anyone to see. He also had an accident not to long ago when she was grinding him (while making about), he couldn't hold it back. So I feel like they are definitely heading in that direction.

    I'm not sure if I should have a follow up conversation or just trust that I taught him enough and that he retained that information.
     
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