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My Inner Bitch’s Bout with Sex Negative Education

My Inner Bitch’s Bout with Sex Negative Education
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An eye-opening event this summer has me thinking: It’s time for grownups to grow up about sex education. It starts too late and ends too early. I came to this realization this summer when I got a dreaded call from my son’s camp director one Friday afternoon.

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Comments

Roxy Bourbon  

High five. I couldn't agree more.

09/12/2012

I'm a conservative mom that believes in an omniscient God, but, I fully agree that there is too much shame around sex and the sex education in this country is seriously lacking. I do my best not to shame my kids and answer any questions they have about their bodies. When it comes time for sex ed (they're still very young), I'll make sure I fully answer anything they ask. When the time comes, they'll know all about safe sex practices and the physical AND emotional sides of sex.

09/13/2012

I have always felt that sex education in America is silly and counter intuitive in the extreme...it's damn near criminal neglaect and we can wander through any middle to high school and see the results (unless the community shames the mothers to be and hides them away...). This was a silly reprimand, who says we always have to cater to the idiots in the room? What about catering to the less "conservative" parents???

09/13/2012
Tinamarie  

Hi Airen,
I agree - we do cater to the most restrictive views about sex (and just about everything). What happens to majority rules (never mind common sense).

Either way, I do appreciate the support from readers like you.

09/13/2012
Deb Dutilh  

Kudos, Tinamarie, for advocating for clear and appropriate sex education for our kids from responsible parents who care and deliver the information our kids want, need and should be encouraged to seek. What a marvelous example you've set for your children by making no excuses about educating them and no apologies for them being smart, confident and well-adjusted instead of playing dumb in order to follow others' viewpoints. Having a parent stand up for a child's intelligence and point of view is such a gift toward building character and "chutzpah" like you said!

09/13/2012

My mom has been straight with me whenever I asked something. When I was little and asked "where do babies come from?" she told me that when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, they have a baby. that satisfied me, and that's what I'm going to tell my children at that age. After that, I was play at the park with another little girl, and I don't remember but apparently that became a topic between us, I told her what my mom said. She went, told her mom, and her mom stormed over to mine and asked what my mom was teaching me. When my mom said the truth, she asked "What are you teaching your kid." she said "I tell MY children that babies come from the stork, that's better than what you told YOUR daughter." Hearing this now, it makes me mad, and wonder "Wow, what did you tell her when they had sex ed in class?"

09/13/2012
Tinamarie  

@Jay Baby - and we wonder why there's so much confusion going on....wow.
@deb - thank you!!!!!!

09/13/2012

I know, some parents aren't somewhat truthful, it makes me wonder...what do you tell them about other things? like drugs or alcohol? I think the closest thing to the truth is the best you can do for your child. you don't have to give them details, just what will satisfy their curiosity at that time. I feel that if you aren't even partially truthful, you may not have the best relationship with your child because they'll find out how things really work and may feel like they can't trust you to get the truth about something...at least, in my opinion.

09/13/2012
Arik  

I grew up in a home with a father for an artist. The nude female form being his most preferred subject matter. His very very realistic, almost photographic-in-quality, tasteful painting hung on our walls from the day I was born and still do. My friends, male and female, visiting my home throughout my childhood were shocked, amazed, and often awe-struck to actually get to see what the true nude form looked like.

Now-a-days, I have a 17 year old son...from whom the naked form, information about our bodies or sexuality was ever hidden. At 15, he began attending live nude figure drawing classes. Has seen female and male nudes of all ages and forms.

Does that mean I have allowed him to be sexually promiscuous? Not at all. He was not allowed to even consider dating until he was over 16. Why 16? It wasn't a magic number, but rather when his actions finally reflected a level of maturity that showed he could make responsible decisions about relationships.

I don't think there is anything wrong with open communication about our bodies. Really...what is the desired result of hiding our functions, our natural and biological functions from our children? We don't hide other functions! How random and utterly one sided to make one function 'scarier' and 'more taboo' than the others.

09/14/2012
P'Gell  

Good for you, Tinamarie. Why do we have to cater to the most conservative and restrictive portions of our neighborhoods and towns? Why do the more liberal among us have to "shut up" as to not "offend" those who hide their eyes and ears and put blinders on their children?

Why shouldn't the more liberal among us be catered to about the things that "offend" us? Too effing bad for us, I guess.

You did the right thing. Good job. You son is a lucky boy.

09/15/2012

Very well written, TinaMarie! I enjoyed this article very much, and happen to agree with you! Why on earth hide the truth of sex to children? It will only confuse them, and keep them uneducated as to *how* to handle things when the time comes rather than "protect" them. It does not protect them to lie and say kids came from a bird. Lol. I understand not volunteering sex education to a 6 year old, but kids learn quick, and I agree, the parents should be quick to know when to speak of it rather than hope some kid at school educates them. I personally deal with ours in the same way my parents did me -- our youngest boy actually turned 13 yesterday! He's known about sex for some time though.

I asked my parents about sex when I was in the third grade. I was horrified with their answers! I did not want to believe them. Ha Ha. But I applaud them for being so courageous and telling us the truth. We didn't have to wonder or ask other kids or be totally oblivious as to how to take care of ourselves when faced with sex. I have made so sure to be the same with ours. And it has paid off. It also allows a parent and child to have a much closer bond than had they kept sex a hidden secret, even if the child doesn't ever feel comfortable asking questions, you've still broken a little barrier that otherwise would've stayed there forever. In my opinion anyways.

One thing that baffles me -- reading your story brought me back to this confusion yet again in my life -- what gives people the idea that God is opposed to sex? You know, the clitoris is the *only* organ that serves no real function besides those wonderful intense sensations. God had our back when he was giving us that one! God *did* intend for sex to be a pleasurable experience for both women and men, yet most people I've had any contact with seem to believe God intended sex to be only for procreation or only for the male's pleasure! What?! I just hate that people don't always know that sex was intended to benefit, and benefit both parties at that.

Very lovely job! This is the best article I've seen on the topic for as long as I can remember.

10/02/2012

BRAVO! More parents like us need to speak up and defend ~real~ education instead of this puritanical conservative ignorance. We are in the new millennium right?
Your story reminds me of when my youngest almost got expelled for saying a boy had a nice 'ass'. When I asked if the principal preferred buttocks, Derrière, or gluteus maximus? The principal said, "No! The whole comment is vulgar and not allowed in school. The coach was very offended."
I asked her what was wrong with my daughter appreciating the body of another, and where in the school rules does it stipulate this? Vulgar language was not spelled out, so I told my daughter it meant curse words and even made her come up with ten alternatives for ever word we could come up with. I didn't think body parts was one of them.
While the principal was contemplating her answer the said coach walked by yelling "Get your ass back here!" at some kid. Then some other office worker said "Nice ass coach. Have you been working out for football season?"
I just looked at the principal and said "Maybe you need to expel your staff before you expect better vocabulary from the children. I think we're done here and I will be writing a letter to the administrator." My daughter was 15, and on that day I decided the powers that be work in mysterious ways.
Next year they had a new principal...the coach.
She wasn't expelled.

10/08/2012

[http://mommyish.com/stuff/pornography-392/2/]. Thought of you.

10/17/2012
Tangles  

Heeeeeell yes!

11/04/2012
Jack M.  

Excellent article. thank you.

11/20/2012

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