I found this week’s topic of sexuality to be very intriguing. I came to understand that most people find talking about sexuality to be very uncomfortable and unnecessary. A perfect example of this is in John Oliver’s video about sex education in public schools. The majority of states in the United States does not have any law that requires sex education to be taught in public schools. As a matter of fact, “there is no required standard for sex ed in this country” and “only 22 states mandate that kids receive it and only 13 states require that the information presented be medically accurate” (Zeilinger, 2015). Olivia Tarplin reinforces this fact in her Ted Talk called “Feminist Porn: Shifting our Sexual Culture.” After discussing the benefits that feminist porn brings to our society, Tarplin considers porn to be one of the earliest ways children learn about sex. She states, “Porn is now more accessible than ever before. It is oftentimes easier to access porn than it is to access comprehensive sex ed” (Tarplin, 2015). I think that these facts/statistics prove that children are all being taught different information, regardless of whether or not it is true. In the same video by John Oliver, questions from children are presented on the screen. The one question card that really stood out to me was the one that read, “Is it okay to be gay?” This kind of broke my heart considering that some sex education teachers are ALLOWED and have the RIGHT to answer this precious child’s question with, “No! Homosexuality is not acceptable in this society.” Although this is just a rhetorical answer, I know that these answers are given to unknowing, naïve, confused children who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. The teachers of sex education should not be allowed to just preach about their opinions and religious beliefs. They also should not be allowed to just teach incorrect information!! I believe that once the power of education and enlightenment of the diverse world of sexuality overcomes the fear of the uncomfortable and all too subjective “sex-talk,” we will finally cause a revolution in lives of our children.
I believe that not talking about sexuality immensely confuses our children (and adults!). A lot of children start to feel things at an early age, but because our society is so scared to talk about the uncomfortable components of sexuality, those children never learn what they should. For example, Hari Ziyad states, “I don’t remember the first time I found a boy attractive. I do know that in my earliest memories, when I was 4 or 5, this attraction felt natural and innate” (Ziyad, 2015). This boy socially learned that his feelings were “unnatural” or wrong. If he had talked about sexuality from a young age, he would know that his attractions are NORMAL and his own. Another example of the detriments of not talking about sexuality is me not knowing what queer means. I took sex education in elementary, middle, and high school, and I never was taught what queer meant. Nobody even used the word. So now, I am reading a very personal article and feel incompetent, because I did not understand what “I chose to be queer” meant (Ziyad, 2015). In conclusion, I feel that learning is an eternal, ongoing process, and sexuality is a complex, ongoing, unending part of ourselves. We need to be continually learning about ALL parts of sexuality and what it means to feel certain ways.
Tarplin, O. (2015). Feminist porn: Shifting our sexual culture | Olivia Tarplin | TEDxJerseyCity. Retrieved June 18, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x38-iHvUqLY
Zeilinger, J. (2015). John Oliver, Laverne Cox and Nick Offerman Just Gave Us the Sex Ed PSA America Needs. Retrieved June 15, 2016, from https://mic.com/articles/123634/john-oliver-laverne-cox-and-nick-offerman-just-gave-us-the-sex-ed-psa-america-needs#.GTpXZDZIJ
Ziyad, H. (2015). Choosing Queer: I Was Not Born This Way, And That’s Ok. – RaceBaitR. Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://racebaitr.com/2015/09/30/choosing-queer-i-was-not-born-this-way-and-thats-ok/