Teaching Teens About Sex

Photo courtesy of www.nytimes.com

As an avid Jimmyjane blog reader, you're probably able to locate a clitoris – perhaps even your own. But what about America's high school students? According to a recent article in the New York Times, that's just the tip of the iceberg of what they aren't learning.

In the vast majority of schools across the country, sex education falls on the limited spectrum between an "abstinence-until-marriage" approach and an "STD-prevention" one. Accordingly, many teenagers are getting their information (and misinformation) from online porn and other unreliable sources, leaving them unprepared for the emotional complications that come with sex, unpracticed in the open communication necessary for healthy relationships, and unaware of the subtleties of sexual pleasure. To quote one of the male high school students interviewed in the article – "I think I sort of knew where the clitoris was, but I didn't know it was, like, under something." The article, "Teaching Good Sex," presents Sexuality and Society, a course taught by Al Vernacchio – a particularly skilled and beloved teacher at the Friends' Central School in Philadelphia – as a progressive counterpoint to the much more limited education available to most of our adolescents. It's certainly thought provoking, and leads us to wonder – Where would you want your own children's education to lie on this broader spectrum from "abstinence-until-marriage" to "Sexuality and Society"?