“Teen Sex By The Book” Australian Sex Ed Curriculum Demonstrates Exactly How NOT To Teach Teens About Sex
Some Australian public schools have recently caught flak for teaching sex ed to secondary school students using a text called "Teen Sex By the Book." Among other atrocious things, this text claims that God doesn't like lesbians, and that short skirts are unkind to horny Christian boys who shouldn't have to be tempted by such unholiness. I don't know about you, but I don't really think that we can call something teaching those sorts of lessons "sex ed," because, well... there's no actual education involved, is there?
The book is allowed to be taught in public schools through a program called the Special Religious Education (SRE) curriculum. The SRE curriculum allows state schools to teach lessons according to their individualized religious beliefs, as long as the programming is organized by “authorized representatives of approved religious groups.” So what sorts of advice does "Teen Sex By the Book" contain? Well, for starters, there are little gems like this:
You don't realize (or more likely don't know) that when you leave someone after having sex with them, you leave a little part of yourself behind (like you've superglued yourself to the other person and then ripped the bond apart).
Uh... OK. Except... well...
...Not so much.
But, as fun is it is to just blame this particular subset of Australians for being crazy (all those koalas will do that to you), we are far from immune from horrific sex ed here in America. Read below for five instances of recent, awful sex ed being taught right in our backyard:
1. The Mississippi teacher who compared girls who have sex to dirty chocolate.
Last year, a school in Oxford, Mississippi got the wrong kind of attention for a sex ed class in which a teacher reportedly passed around an unwrapped Peppermint Pattie (ugh, why did she have to implicate one of the most delicious candies in this?) and asked people to think about how dirty and gross it was by the time the last person in the class had touched it. Surprise! The Peppermint Pattie was supposed to represent a girl who had a lot of sex, and was thus dirty and no longer valuable. Cool.
2. The Alabama state law that mandates blatantly homophobic sex ed.
The Alabama laws that detail what must be taught in sex ed classes maintains that teachers must point out that, "homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and ... homosexual conduct is a criminal offense."
3. The abstinence-only education in Michigan that tries to scare kids into not having sex .
A mother in Michigan took to Twitter about a month ago to express her outrage about her son's abstinence-only sex ed class. The class in question involved students being given "paper babies" because they all got pregnant due to faulty condoms; it was emphasized that "sex is part of a terrible lifestyle." Also, WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
4. The Texas sex ed teaching manual that compared virgins to "new toothbrushes or sticks of gum."
According to instructional manuals for sex-ed teachers in Texas, a good way to teach students safe sex is to encourage them to remain virgins, which are clean and shiny like new toothbrushes or sticks of gum. Because, of course, non-virgins are used and dirty like chewed-up gum. (Not that abstinence education isn't super effective, but a different Texas school has recently gotten a lot of attention for a chlamydia outbreak in light of its shoddy sex ed program).
5. The West Virginia sex ed lecture that linked birth control to diseases.
It sounds like something Coach Carr would say, but unfortunately, West Virginia students were subjected to a real-life lecture that claimed (regarding birth control pills): "That drug, that hormone... has just made [that girl] ten times more likely to contract a disease than if she were not taking that drug. This girl could end up sterile or dead."
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