Archive for the ‘Sex Education’ Category
Fathers should talk to their daughters about sex. They should not be afraid of, or condemn, their daughters’ sexuality; they shouldn’t treat their daughters’ dates and partners as enemies and certainly not as rivals, which is too often the case. This doesn’t mean sexualizing their daughters (think: treating them like daddy’s pretty, pretty princess whose value lies in her beauty) or desexualizing them (daughters pledging their virginity to their fathers, dads threatening dates with a shotgun). They should respect their daughters as autonomous human beings — rather than as a possession, a piece of fine china to either be protected behind glass or sold to the highest bidder.
Americans have decided to couch sex education in a discussion about reproduction. When we teach children about reproduction, male ejaculation (and so, necessarily, male orgasm) is a central part of the lesson. If they’re in a comprehensive sex education program, boys may even receive lessons about the normalcy of accidental erections and wet dreams. Boys’ sexual desires, then, are part of the conversation. So, for boys, the idea that sex is natural and pleasurable is part of the lesson.Not so for girls. Girls are unlikely to learn anything about their own sexualities in sex education. Again, this is partly because we use reproduction instead of pleasure as the excuse for talking about sex; they learn about the other “o”: ovulation. There’s almost never any discussion of girls’ sexual desires or pleasure. Often, however, there’s plenty of talk about how sex can get girls “into trouble”: pregnancy, emotional harm, sexually transmitted infections, ruined reputations and sexual assault.
Complications around giving birth remain the greatest killer of teenage girls in the developing world. It is not just young girls who suffer from the lack of control over their own reproductive health. Enabling women to space pregnancies out by three to five years could almost halve infant death in the poorest countries, one study found.