After glancing back at my findings, I came to several valuable conclusions:

  1. It is important to have talk about sex with your kids, but leave the rest (that you’re uncomfortable discussing, or don’t know much about) for the sex educators at school.
  2. Dan Savage is one of the many helpful sex educators that can be contacted in a time of need. Seek out people who can provide you with resources to make responsible sexual decisions.
  3. Get involved in Sex Week at your school. Help supply condoms, lube and other forms of contraception to students. Advocate for safe sex and encourage others to be responsible as well.
  4. Parents, fight for mandatory sex education in your child’s school. Know what type of sex ed your child will receive (abstinence-only or abstinence based) before piggybacking on concepts that he/she learns in school.
  5. Remember that everyone is unique. Some people identify as a gender that is inconsistent with the sex they were assigned at birth. While this poses conflict with sexual norms in society, it is up to the community to welcome him/her in with open arms, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity (as seen on Glee).
  6. Be aware of the bills passing in your state. Do you want to live in a state like Tennessee where there is a limit on your exposure to homosexuality? Or do you want your kids to know that their friends are raised by gay parents?
  7.  Use your judgment to monitor or even restrict your child’s exposure to the media, especially the Internet and television/movies.
  8. Do not try to combat your sexual urges by playing soccer.

Parents know everything, right? Not about sex.

Have you ever wondered how your parents learned about sex? How were things in the generation before us? And before?

As Care2 mentions in their article about Adult Sex Education, “no one is born knowing everything about sex and what we were taught in high school is not that helpful as adults” (Madsen). Therefore, the common misconception that parents know everything and never made mistakes is now proven to be a misconception. For that matter, we are nation in desperate need of a large group therapy session on adult sexuality (Madsen).

When I think of sex education, I assume we’re talking about educating kids or students in grade school. However, we neglect to focus on the importance of educating adults as well. Adults often keep up to date on sex and sexuality by researching on the internet, just as kids do, although this is often the easiest way to receive false information.

Pamela Madsen, a sexologist and educator, agrees that there should be more resources for adults as well as students, to refresh themselves on sexuality and keep up with the times; especially when it comes time to educate their children.

For starters, Pamela suggests adults: 1) read The Pleasure Mechanics; 2) check out speaking or working with a sexologist; and 3) attend a workshop; to name a few. All of these suggestions are ways to start staying more up to date with sex ed!

 

 

Works Cited:

Madsen, Pamela. “Adult Sex Education.” Care2, 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2012.

How should our kids learn about sex?

Once again, according to US News Health, parents are trying to gain control of their children’s media access, to prevent them from exposure to negative images. Instead, parents are encouraged to step up and help children learn how to become responsible human beings (“Children, Sex, and the Media”).

According to statistics this past year, parents have not been very successful in monitoring the sexual responsibility of their children. The United States has the “highest rate of teen pregnancies in the developed world and 25 percent of American teenagers have a sexually transmitted disease” (“Children, Sex, and the Media”). Instead of turning to parents to answer sex questions, teens find their answers in the media. In order for parents to regain control and monitor their child’s sexual behavior, they must do the following: 1) Limit all screen media time to a maximum of two hours a day; 2) Get the TV and computer out of children’s bedrooms; and 3) Use sex in the media to do on-the-spot sexual education (“Children, Sex, and the Media”).

In my opinion, number 3 is most important because it allows for parental involvement, as opposed to passive aggressive behavior of turning off the television. Number 3 will help parents relate to their children and ease into the conversation of sex while there may never be a better time to bring it up.

In terms of proper, responsible media usage, US News also suggests that parents: 1) Ban the TV from the kids’ bedrooms; 2) Turn off the TV during dinner; 3) Ask your kids about their “media day”; 4) Set rules for your kids’ media consumption; and 5) Turn off your phone (Shute).

Most importantly, you have to be a role model for your children; however, I don’t think you need to set such strict rules surrounding media usage. Children in the next generation will learn how to adapt to their environment and will learn how they work best, whether it be in a noisy environment or in a quiet setting. Either way, these parental involvement suggestions are only meant to offer alternative ways to solve an overexposure to media. Most families should handle such issues on a case by case basis.

How would you handle this situation – if your child spend 6 hours a day watching television, on the internet, and on his/her phone?

 

 

Works Cited:

“Children, Sex, and the Media: 3 Ways for Parents to Gain Control.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 01 Sept. 2010. Web. 16 Apr. 2012.

Shute, Nancy. “5 Ways to Make Kids’ Media Use Safe and Healthy.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2012.

Homosexuality introduced in schools – To be, or not to be?

In Tennessee, teachers are quieting down during conversations about homosexuality, as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” cleared the House education committee on Sunday (Hubbard).  What this means is that the Republicans who dominate the Tennessee legislature are taking a very active role in public education and have created a bill that “prohibits the teaching or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8” (Rosenthal). In the event that a teacher or school violates the state’s sex education policy, teachers will face a $50 fine and up to 30 days in jail, according to state law – and this bill passed the Senate last year (Hubbard).

That is appalling.

Whether you want your children exposed to homosexuality at a young age or not is not up to the government. Educators have every right to discuss the different types of family that exist in society today. They have to encourage students to acknowledge and accept reality.

Those who are in denial of such relations and disagree with homosexuality; those people can impose their own beliefs on their children at home, on their own time.

What do you think? Who should impose beliefs on students?  Why can’t educators acknowledge peoples differences? What if one student is raised by a same-sex couple? Can this student not participate in a discussion about family or parental guidance?

 

 

Works Cited:

Hubbard, Julie. “‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Advances in the House.” The Tennessean. 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.

Rosenthal, Andrew. “Don’€™t Say €˜Gay. Do Say €˜’Intelligent Design.’™.” The Loyal Opposition. 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.

Glee “comes out” with a transgender character… thoughts?

According to Instinct Magazine, Glee “made waves and history by introducing its first transgender character” on the Tuesday night, April 17 (Higbee).  The transgender character, Unique, is an African-American student and performer, hoping to find her place as an outsider in the high school community (Higbee). Previously known as Wade, a shy student from a different high school, Unique stormed through the halls of McKinley High and sought out Kurt and Mercedes to help clarify his identity on-stage. While Kurt identifies as a man, he was still able to provide some insight on how to dress differently and flaunt it.

As a proud child of GLAAD, Glee took steps in the right direction to expose a controversial public figure on national television. With the help of faithful Glee fans, Unique’s appearance was received well and she will likely be returning for another episode in the near future.

Fortunately, this portrayal was done surprisingly well and I applaud Glee for making such a daring move. I hope that we will continue to see new characters of all sexual orientations and with various identities, to help expose the younger generation to our “uniqueness” at an early age – to essentially create a more tolerant society in the near future. Same goes for educating students; at an early age, students should learn that it is okay to be different.

What do you think? Is it appropriate to introduce a transgender character on a television show for young adults? Should transgender identity be covered in sex education?

 

 

Works Cited:

“Glee.” FOX. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.

Higbee, Jonathan. ‘Glee’ Welcomes Its First Trans Character (Video). 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.

How to approach sex education in college… Harvard University tells all.

In terms of college-aged students, there is an ongoing conversation about sex going on at most college campuses. With the easy availability of diaphragms, condoms, lubricant, and implanons, passer-bys will often wonder what the table is set up for, but during Harvard Sex Week there are many sex education venues around campus in Cambridge. I found this idea fascinating, as I would love to have such an open campus community that fostered the comfort of sexual health discussions at any time of the day.

Apparently this idea started at Yale University in 2002 and “has since spread to colleges across the country from Harvard to the University of Kentucky and Washington University” (O’Connor). During Sex Week at Harvard University, you can find “a student-run program of lectures, panel discussions and blush-inducing conversations about all things sexual” (Quenqua). The “newer versions of these student run weeks give advice on everything from hooking up on campus to feeling more comfortable and fulfilled sexually” (Quenqua). Frankly, I haven’t seen this publicized nearly enough, especially in the DC area. More campuses across the US need to have a more open policy about sex education and have more resources available for students, since college is generally a very sexually active age.

Thinking about how things are here at American University, I wish there were more free testing centers in the area for STDs and HIV/AIDS along with more resources to seek out information about sexual health, other than the expensive health center. In addition to resources in the AU area, I’ve realized there are not nearly enough resources for those looking to get tested in the DC/MD/VA area, or at least they are not well marked and available to the community.

I would be interested to see how testing works at other universities… is it free? Or do students have to seek out testing centers in the community as well?

 

 

Works Cited:

O’Connor, Anahad. “Do College Students Need Sex Ed?” Well. 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.

Quenqua, Douglas. “College Students Opening Up Conversations About Sex.” Love Well. 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.

Dan Savage, gay rights activist – and sex educator? Indeed.

In the Washington City Paper, Dan Savage has his own column entitled “Savage Love” in which he responds to posts from the DC community. In this specific installment of Savage Love, Dan is contacted by a gay, high school boy with concerns regarding sex and sex education. In the article, the boy writes:

“[My boyfriend and I], we had sex education in our schools, but they didn’t cover gay sex” (Savage).

This aspect of neglect in the field of sex education angers me too, so I kept on reading.

I tried to talk to my mom about gay sex, and all she said was ‘please use condoms.’ We tried and we used condoms, but I think we must be doing something wrong because we can’t do it. We are ready to start having real gay sex – and we are frustrated and feel like failures as gay men. Any advice?” (Savage).

From this excerpt of the boy’s letter to Dan, I gather that there is not nearly enough emphasis on homosexual intercourse in schools and at home. While this is still a taboo conversation, it is a necessity to start including some resources for those who are involved in gay relations to be safe during intercourse. Especially at home, parents should be a helpful resource for their children, not a rut.

Dan Savage, a gay rights activist and sex educator in his own way, shines light on the subject to help this young boy and provide him the resources he needs. Dan shares that there are many ways as a gay couple that he and his boyfriend can get off together – mutual masturbation, oral sex, frottage, etc (Savage). Overall, Dan’s column must serve as a great tool to educate about sexuality in a simple manner: through the city paper.

In the future, I hope that this boy finds more easily accessible resources to get the answer to his question, as I’m sure there were millions of boys who wrote and didn’t get any response from Dan Savage in this column. The future of sex education will hopefully include gay relations and safe sex for all types of relationships. In addition, the means to obtain such information will hopefully be more widespread and Dan Savage will pave the way for sex educators alike to share their knowledge with those who know less.

 

 

Works Cited:

Savage, Dan. “Are “Desensitizing Anal Wipes” Dangerous?” Washington City Paper. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.

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