Sexual Education in the USA

The problem of sexual education’s proper realization remains one of the most actual ones, both for American students and for the nation in general. The reason for such a situation concerns the specifics of the issue that presupposes some social obstacles for education in this direction. The main obstacle is the lack of open communication between students and instructors because social perception of sex, as the topic for either conversation or consideration, has a puritan accent. Shame and social unacceptance of some themes, connected with sex (especially in school age), make some students’ reflection of educational process in some degree uncertain and biased. The same concerns some instructors who also have no adequate understanding of the issue. Besides, the best way to understand the results of sexual education in schools is to ask a student about his or her perception of that issue. This essay is an attempt to describe my personal experience of sexual education I got in my school, as well as to provide some advice concerning the process’ improving, in order to increase education’s effectiveness.

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There were two main details of sexual education in my school. The first one is concerned with the problem of sex before marriage that is propagated by the instructor as the only one socially acceptable form of sexual activity there is. Other forms of sexual activity or relationships declared as inappropriate because they would lead to promiscuity without any real achievement when sex in marriage would be a reasonable component of proper sexual life and development. Another detail concerned the instructor’s stories about different sexually transmitted diseases (such as HIV) that threaten everyone who has some sex relations out of marriage because his or her partner could have diseased partners before when husbands have to keep marriage-bed that insures their strong health. The main purpose of such stories was to frighten my schoolmates and, in such a way, persuade them that the only possible form of sexual relations is a conservative one, propagated by the instructor.

Today I understand that sexual education I had in school, included many negative features that decreased its effectiveness and even made more harm than the absence of this kind of education. The conservative spirit of the information provided by the instructor was obviously incomprehensive and biased. The main problem of those lectures was the lack of realistic approach and understanding the students’ purposes. The instructor did not try to provide useful advices that would be helpful in situations when a student has no experience and needs some kind of support. Instead, the education concerned not sexual but moral issues in their sexual dimension interpreted through the prism of conservative point of view.

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The best evidence of sexual education’s ineffectiveness in my school is the fact that most of my classmates did not take the instructor’s words seriously because his moralizing tales about marriage and chastity contradicted their personal experience and purposes. As a result, the school did not provide us any adequate informational support concerning the sexual issue, and when some of my classmates were involved in sexual relations, they knew much less than they could know if an adequate instructor taught them. For example, there was no information concerning the issues of contraception, abortion, and other possible problems connected with sexual relations. Instead of those, the puritan way of sexual relations’ interpretation made this theme even more closed for public conversation than it was before.

Another important problem is the fact that instructor disregarded all kinds of LGBTQ relationships. In fact, he did not mention them at all, as if they did not exist at all. At the same time, two of my classmates were definite gays, and it is clear that proper education would help them realize themselves correctly without any social or psychological obstacles, such as the problem of self-acceptance. The information about the specifics of LGBTQ people’s sex relations could also help heterosexual students develop inclusive understanding of the American society with its diversity. Besides, through the conservative sexual education, the instructor formed our improper understanding of both sex and society, in general.

In such a way, the main problem of sexual education in my school concerned the above-mentioned contradictions between the instructor’s lectures and my own life experience. It is clear that I, as well as my classmates, needed some adequate information about that field of social relations that we had no experience about. Besides, our class had only two possible options: to accept the lectures seriously and interpret the world in conservative antihuman terms, or to disregard the instructor’s moralities at all and live in accordance with the diversified reality.

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The problems I faced in my school serve as the reason to propose some innovations to the main tenets of sexual education in the USA. In fact, I can judge only through the prism of my own case, but even such information can be useful in order to get the full picture. In such a way, the most important detail concerns the elaboration of adequate criteria for a potential instructor. It seems that there is no common program of sexual education, as well as common list of criteria, crucial for those who want to help students with sexual issues they are facing. People who have their own problems, connected with adequate understanding of sex and sex-related issues, have no right to propagate their vision in American schools. In contrast, the state should necessarily base those criteria on the principles of realistic approach and sexual diversity.

Under the realistic approach, I mean that instructor has to help students, instead of trying to change who they are. My instructor is the best illustration of a person who does not accept the reality and tries to propagate his own lifestyle, in order to make all people live according to his worldview. I suppose there are many such instructors in the US schools, and that is one of the main problems connected with adequate acceptance of sex-related issues.

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