Time magazine has a great article about why schools can’t teach sex ed. The bottom line is that public schools can’t go near the type of information kids are looking for. And any school that depends on parents writing tuition checks is going to stay as far away from useful sex ed as they can.
Kids know way more than ever at a younger age than ever. Surely this trend has been happening for generations now, but the combination of women’s liberation—where women finally began talking openly about sex—followed by the Internet— where the bleeding edge of all technology is porn—has really sped up the process of educating kids about sex.
Time magazine assumes parents will take the lead on sex ed in today’s environment. Time recommends websites like Bedsider that offer easy to understand facts about contraception in an open-minded and legitimate way, and others like StayTeen, GoAskAlice! and Sex, etc. On Scarleteen, educators answer questions from How do I behave sexually without someone thinking I’m a slut? to questions about pubic hair.
Teens use YouTube like their parents use Google, so it’s no surprise that YouTube is full of highly regarded (by Time magazine) sex education. Laci Green has made a name for herself by providing frank and funny videos that answer common questions young people have and dispel myths. Two of her more popular episodes are You Can’t POP Your Cherry! (Hymen 101) and Sex Object BS.
Then I read a piece in the New Yorker about the Sex Education Conference where transgender issues were front and center. (What if your partner has a very similar gender to you?) And myths were dispelled (Can you get drunk by dunking a tampon in vodka and inserting it? The answer is no, but it stings.)
This got me thinking about what are other things that kids absolutely have to learn but schools cannot teach?
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
- Grit and determination
- Thinking outside the box
- Asking unanswerable questions
- Working with hands, learning through doing, kinesthetic learning
- Visual learning rather than auditory learning
What else is on your list of things kids can’t learn at school?