You told us about your sex-ed classes — the good, the bad and the nonexistent.
Sex ed can be really different depending on where you go to school — from state to state, country to country, and in public vs. private schools.
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Of course, no individual experience should be taken to represent a whole state, province, country, religion, or culture. But here are some of the things readers shared with us about their sex-ed classes: the good, the bad, and the nonexistent.
“It was done in a very secretive manner, as if it were a meeting of Dumbledore’s army.”
“We learned about periods in middle school (only for girls). It was a workshop in the closed school hall done by a popular sanitary-pad company, not an effort by the school — they gave us their brand's pads at the end. It was done in a very secretive manner, as if it were a meeting of Dumbledore's army. No one spoke a single word. We were just shown a short film about what causes periods and the myths associated with menstruation.
Everyone talked in hushed voices with their eyes down after it was over. We were warned strictly that we couldn't talk about what happened once we were out of the hall (especially to the boys) and were asked to hide those pads given to us in our bags (which we had been asked to bring with us to the hall). There is a huge stigma in India with menstruation and sex.”
—Apoorva, 18, India
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“The biggest thing we learned about was how to use protection. That purple dildo in the hand of a 59-year-old female teacher still gives me nightmares. Consent was a big thing too; we learned about the different ways to say no. Shame it doesn't always work.
Same-sex relationships were not something we studied AT ALL. As a lesbian, I have no idea what it's all about. I know how to not get pregnant, but I don't know about STIs and all the actual important stuff. On the lines of consent, we were taught that consent only really applies between a man and a woman, which isn't true. There weren't really any lessons on that, and when I did actually ask, I was told not to get 'silly' ideas into my head.”
—Trixie, 16, United Kingdom