A bill just passed by the Utah House of Representatives would ban all discussion of contraception, LGBT issues, or “the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior” in schools. It would also allow schools to opt out of sex ed completely.
Ironically, this story has been developing during the same week as the findings of a Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team (CURT) study made its way into the press. After surveying 50 condom studies from 14 different countries, they found that incorrect use of condoms was very common. From the Daily Mail:
– Between 17 and 51.1 per cent of people put the condom on after sex had begun, while between 13.6 and 44.7 per cent said they took the condom off early.
– Men were found to struggle with multiple problems when putting a condom on. Up to 45.7 per cent of men questioned did not leave space at the tip for semen, while up to a quarter said they incorrectly unrolled the sheath before putting it on.
– Meanwhile between four and 30.4 per cent of participants reported rolling on a condom inside out before flipping it around after noticing the problem.
– Two studies also found that 74.5 per cent of men and 82.7 per cent of women didn’t check the condom for damage before they used it.
For some teens, school is the only place they have to ask questions about sex, birth control – even about their changing bodies. Ideally, lessons in school would be supplemented by more personal, in-depth conversations about sexuality at home, but this often doesn’t happen. Many parents report feeling unable to answer their kids’ questions about sex at all.
Sex education is sparse enough as it is – many schools have already cut their health teachers, shifted the responsibility for sex ed instruction to people who aren’t trained, and decreased the number of hours to the bare minimum. If the CURT team’s results reflect where we are now, where will we end up if we have no sex education at all? Our best defense against unwanted pregnancy and STIs, including HIV, simple enough when you know how to do it, but you’re not born knowing – you have to be taught. And while there’s no shortage of videos that will teach you, you can’t ask a video a follow-up question, at least, not in real time (and venturing into the comments is really taking your life into your own hands…).
That’s why we think our Wrap MCs are so important! You guys are great. Shout-out to you and all the other sex educators out there, in schools and communities across the country, who still believe that knowledge is power.