In the video Sex Education with John Oliver, the censorship and sensitivity surrounding educating children in sexuality is questioned. Throughout the United States, there are different requirements and levels of sex education provided to children, and at different ages. Adults across the country constantly disagree about what is appropriate to teach to children and what is the best way to convey sex safe practices. The underlying message in John Oliver’s video was that children and teenagers need to be properly educated on sex and the different ways that it can impact our lives, so that when the time comes, they are later able to make their own informed decisions on the matter. There is so much fear surrounding educating young people on such an important topic, that failing to provide the necessary information usually does more harm than good. Instead of stigmatizing such a natural part of human’s lives, I think we should be more open about discussing sex.
Next, I found the article Hooking Up to be particularly interesting in regards to the topic of hooking up, particularly on college campuses. While there is a definite hook up culture seen across college campuses, there are many different opinions surrounding the topic. As a general trend, however, it seems as though there is a growing acceptance for “hooking up” in young adults in college. The author in this reading calls the movement towards a more normative sexual experience the “masculinization of sex.” I thought this was interesting because now it seems as though we are categorizing sexual experiences based on gender. In this sense, there is gender inequality even in the act of having sex. What might be accepted as a more “male” sexual act is different than what is accepted as more “female.” This also suggests that the line between these two is becoming more and more blurred. I think this is important for changing the way women and sex are talked about. While women are more often ridiculed and made to feel guilty for anything relating to sex or sexual acts, men are praised for it. I think maybe “masculinization of sex” could be a step in the right direction toward changing this imbalance of sexual expectations among the genders, so that one person is not considered “promiscuous” for doing the same kind of sexual act that another person is encouraged, and even “high-fived” for doing.
Lastly, the video The Virgin Daughters brings eye-opening perspective into the world of purity and the encouragement of young girls to stay pure very early on in their lives. The first main issue that I have with this video is that in it, the young girls are expected to make a lifelong commitment to purity, before even having a deep understanding for sex and how it plays a role in relationships. I think this seems like the families of these girls are taking advantage of the fact that they are young in order to leave an impression on them that forever alters the way they think about sex and relationships. This takes away free will and individuality in their future sex lives. The second issue that I have is that, by having such high expectations of purity from a young age, the parents of these girls are helping to create a culture in which women having sex is stigmatized while men have a more dominant role in which they decide what is appropriate for a woman to do in her own life. While the decision to be pure itself is not necessarily negative, expecting young girls to devote their lives to being pure from such a young age is counter-productive if we want to have society in which men and women are both making informed decisions about their sex lives, without the added guilt of feeling like they are breaking a vow that they took before they even knew what sex really was. Just because you aren’t “pure” doesn’t mean you’re necessarily “promiscuous” and this harsh polarization that is often applied to women in our current society needs to change.