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A Comprehensive Guide to Sexuality Education

Less than 20 states require medically accurate sexuality education in schools. 

That number should scare you. 

Before becoming a sexuality educator I didn’t truly understand how vital this information was. How it is an integral part of everyone's lives and our overall well-being. I just assumed that sexuality, sex and intimacy were meant to be a struggle, an inherent challenge that left us all feeling as equally uncertain within our own bodies. However, it is clear to me now that this perception stemmed from the lack of comprehensive and medically accurate sexuality education. Without proper guidelines, I tried to educate myself and it left me encountering inaccurate information that hindered my ability to understand and honor myself effectively.

What is sexuality education?

Sexuality education aka sex ed is a broad term that encompasses learning about various aspects of human sexuality, including anatomy, reproduction, sexual development, relationships, sexual orientation, gender identity, contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), consent, sexual pleasure and more. Its primary goal is to provide individuals with accurate, age-appropriate, and culturally sensitive information to help them make informed decisions about their sexual health and well-being throughout their lives. And it aims to promote healthy attitudes, behaviors, and relationships while addressing issues such as sexual diversity, gender equity, and sexual rights. 

Sexuality education is provided through formal programs in schools, community organizations, healthcare settings, and online resources like Sex Ed by Em. If society truly understood the importance of sexuality education, it would be seamlessly integrated into various aspects of life, starting from early childhood with parents being guided through conversations by their own in depth education. 

Why do more than half the states not teach medically accurate sexuality education?

Stigma, religion, politics, misinformation, fear, taboos, shall I go on? 

The value of sexuality education is a subject of ongoing debate influenced by cultural, social, and political factors. Mixed with the lack of standardized curriculum, and you get a country that has major disparities in not only the content of these educational programs but also the quality. This resistance hurts everyone involved. With so much evidence pointing to the importance and positive impact of sexuality education, spending time debating whether or not it should be implemented is a lose lose. 

As discussions continue to take place in politics that deem sexuality education inappropriate and bills are passed to remove sexual health rights, advocates for comprehensive education need to intensify their efforts to counter misinformation and safeguard the well-being of everyone. 


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