What’s Changed About Sex Ed Since You Were in Middle School

Think back to your sex ed classes. Chances are you were awkwardly packed into a tiny classroom where you and 50 other kids collectively learned about periods, consent, and condoms.

But sex goes a lot further than that — and a lot has changed since then.

In fact, your seventh grade little sister might be smarter than you when it comes to sex and safety. We talked to Sexologist Dr. Jess O’Reilly, Phd, Vigorman’s Sex and Relationship Expert, about what we all need to know about sex in 2016, regardless of if we’ve been through school or not.

1. Tech Sex

Revenge porn, sexting, and webcamming barely existed back when most of us were in middle school — now they’re practically mainstream. And sexting-friendly apps such as Snapchat can turn from friend to foe immediately with a quick screenshot. For teens and adults alike, this can be a nightmare.

But Dr. O’Reilly stresses that the answer isn’t to have a knee-jerk shame reaction when it comes to sexters. Instead, it’s all about helping people who need help and leaving people alone if they’re just having fun.

“We need to talk about how to [sext] safely and the associated interactions and outcomes,” she told Galore. “We need to listen to young people to find out how they feel and respond accordingly.”

2. A Tough Pill To Swallow

Back in the day, the pill was presented as pretty much the only option for birth control besides condoms. But now, IUDs are becoming more and more accepted.

“According to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs (intrauterine devices) should be the first choice/recommendation of birth control for young women,” Dr. O’Reilly said. “Research conducted over the past decade suggests that they are the most safe and effective form of contraception for this age group.”

Previously, it was thought that women shouldn’t use IUDs unless they had already had kids or never wanted any. Now, this non-hormonal option is becoming mainstream — which is great for anyone who’s had bad side effects from the Pill.

3. LGBTQ Relationships

Even 10 year sago, we weren’t discussing LGBTQ relationships in the classroom whatsoever.

Thankfully, today many classrooms are educating students about the different types of sexual preferences and identities, and hopefully making those who are queer feel more comfortable in their own skin rather than feeling out of place.

Unfortunately, not all schools have been updating their sexual education curriculum accordingly, and “resistance to change is common, as sex tends to provoke irrational fears,” Dr. O’Reilly said.

Luckily, many students can turn to the internet to explore their sexuality rather than relying on an antiquated text book in a crumbling school system.

4. Anatomical Pleasure

I think we’ll all let out a sigh of joy to find out that some schools are finally teaching students where the clitoris is.

This isn’t only a relief for every girl who’s hooked up with a guy that tried to finger their inner thigh, but it’s a relief for all teenage girls who will hopefully learn how to play with themselves before expecting a guy to know how to pleasure them.

5. B.Y.O.C.

Before you get all high and mighty about how you’re still more knowledgeable about sex with age, take a look at this statistic.

“Data from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which surveyed nearly 6,000 people from age 14 to age 94, suggests that teens are more likely than older adults to use condoms.”

Yeah, your little loser brother is smarter about sex than you are, how’s that feel?

It seems that many of us older adults think we’ve outsmarted our own bodies. We think that if we’re on birth control, we don’t need condoms (apparently we’ve forgotten about STDs?). We also tend to think that we’ve mastered the pull-out method and couldn’t possibly be sleeping with someone who’s unsafe.

If you tend to hook-up with guys who “forget” to bring condoms, bring your own. You can spend $5 on a pack of Trojans, or have an incurable STD for the rest of your life. 


Image via Post Grad Problems

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