Boys Get The Short End Of Sex Ed

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Illustration for article titled Boys Get The Short End Of Sex Ed

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control (via Family Inequality) reveals that boys report less sex education than girls.



What teenagers report learning from school:

Illustration for article titled Boys Get The Short End Of Sex Ed
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What teenagers report learning from their parents:

Illustration for article titled Boys Get The Short End Of Sex Ed

Compared to boys, then, girls report more guidance from school and significantly more from their parents. This probably reflects cultural ideas that boys naturally desire sex, have a positive sense of their own sexuality, and that nothing really bad can happen to them; in contrast, the risk that sex poses to girls' reputations and the possibility of sexual violence and pregnancy often shape how educators and parents manage their emerging sexualities.

Or it might be an artifact of self-reporting. Thoughts?

This post originally appeared on Sociological Images. Republished with permission.

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Illustration for article titled Boys Get The Short End Of Sex Ed



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DISCUSSION

Girls may be getting more technically, but focus-wise it's the boys who win out. Boys get to learn about sexual arousal and pleasure; girls get to learn about STDs, pregnancy and menstruation. I went to several schools (military brat) and not a single one of those diagrams included a clitoris, no one discussed lubrication or any other aspect of female arousal, orgasm meant specifically male ejaculation and sex dreams were apparently only ever experienced by boys. You'd never know that women can enjoy sex or how physical arousal works in women.

Actually, scratch that- I had one teacher (5th grade) who went into those details. It was the most honest and helpful sex ed course I ever took and included discussion of respectful relationships, being comfortable in your own body & sexuality, and even got into consent & rape. It was the most amazing class, and not a single kid made jokes. Everyone was at rapt attention and asked a lot of serious questions that I don't think anyone else would have answered for us.

Of course no other students got the benefit of that class because our teacher was fired. Parents didn't like their kids (especially their daughters) learning that sex can be healthy, respectful and fun. Yet strangely, despite my exposure I didn't become a pregnant diseased nympho... weird.