Like any involved parent, Alice Dreger was curious about her son's sex education course and accepted an invitation by him to sit in on one of the classes. The "dangers" that Dreger learned about sex on Wednesday naturally came as a surprise to her, and were documented on social media, as the medical professor live-tweeted her son's abstinence-based sex ed class in detail.
The tweets range from utter outrage to incredulity, highlighting the absurd approach to educating children about sex. Abstinence-only sex education and programs are less-than-successful: A large percentage of teenagers who pledge to abstain from sex break that vow and reportedly have more sexual partners and are less likely to use contraception. Those who receive sex education that leaves out "inappropriate sexual content" are found to have had sex earlier and more frequently as well.
Lest you live in a cave, the prevalence of hyper-sexualized images is an issue that causes justified concern. But the opposite end of the spectrum that presents a highly-repressed, unduly-taboo view on sex that has, to the disappointment of many, extended to classrooms across the nation. As a clinical professor in the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program at Chicago's Northwestern University, Dreger has previously called out the approach to sex that colors it with shame and risk. And her tweets about the sex ed being taught to her son show just how ridiculous the lengths that abstinence sex education go to convince young people of how "bad" sex is.