Sex (mis)education

by Wednesday.

ETA: Here’s the scathing, educational take-down from Alex Au.

In today’s news: local sex ed isn’t seen as relevant by target audience.

As an honest-to-God teenager, I could’ve told you that.

The problem with sex ed right now is that it is still hampered by a focus on abstinence. It is not abstinence-only, but it is abstinence-plus. And the way it’s being presented is very, very heteronormative. It’s probably not intentional, but the messages conveyed are also heterosexist: the idea of the reluctant girl, pursued by a sexually aggressive male, elides over female sexuality and puts the double burdon of a virgin/whore complex onto teenaged girls.

How’s an audience supposed to relate to that?

I’m not even touching on queer or genderqueer students watching these presentations. Because homosexuality is either not discussed in these programmes, or else facilitators are expected to remind their young charges that homosexual activity remains illegal in this country. I don’t blame us for having this law, it’s a colonial hangover. But I am angry that it’s been retained.

Again in today’s news: Catholic schools are not happy that abstinence-plus requires teaching on contraception, so they have sought (and obtained) exemption.

I am, right now, very grateful for Catholic feminists like Constance Singam and Frances Kissling (who is over at Feministe, on a guest-blogging stint!).


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