Friday, May 14, 2021

We Asked, You Answered: Experiences with Sex Education

A female condom and a male condom on colorful background

Secular Pro-Life recently shared a task from our new program How to be Pro-Life: "Make sure you have sufficient sexual education." SPL strongly supports comprehensive sex education, including accurate information about methods to avoid conception, as an important tool to prevent unplanned pregnancies and abortions. 

We asked our social media followers: "If you have or intend to have kids, what kind of sex ed would you want them to have? What age, what info?" Here a few of our favorite responses (with minor edits for clarity and length):

Lydia R.: Considering a lot of people got pregnant in my high school because they thought pulling out is birth control, I'd say education is an integral part of preventing abortion.

Kaya M.: I started having "talks" with my kids when the oldest was 4. They know about periods, and know about needing a male and female to make a baby, they know the baby usually comes out of your bottom (we've watched uncensored vaginal and c section human and animal births); I've also shown them pictures/videos of conception and of fetal development. The only things we haven't covered yet are sexual intercourse, birth control, STDs, etc. But that will come in time when they're older. For us, "the talk" is actually a series of talks that unfold as they get older, with more info added every time we talk.

Crystal K.: I grew up with livestock, and I honestly don't recall a time when I didn't have up-close-and-personal sex education just outside my door every day. Sex was such a natural and relevant topic that it never occurred to me feel squeamish about it, and my parents were always open and up-front. I grew up looking forward to intimacy with zero fear of becoming pregnant at the wrong time, getting an STD, etc. because my home education was so comprehensive.

Renee F.: Start early and use the correct terms. Take the mystery out of it when they are young and they won't be curious about it anymore. We need better sex ed in schools, too.

R. S.: I want them to know the true failure rates of different methods of contraception, and I want them to know how all work and are applied. I also want them to understand the emotional costs of their choices. Of course, these are lessons I will be passing along to my boys anyway. Involved parents trump others educating their kids any day.

Kate D.: Everyone could and should know the basics of natural family planning (symptothermal or Creighton). It's your own body, own your data!

Laura P.: The younger you start having age-appropriate conversations about sex, intimacy, and relationships, the better. Sex talk shouldn't be some weird abstract conversation, it should be a part of day-to-day conversation as it comes up naturally. Letting kids know that discussing sex, reproduction, etc. is a normal and healthy part of life is as valuable as the conversations themselves. 

Violet L.: I think it's important. I never got any [sex education] in school or at home... well the tiniest bit in one talk at school when I was maybe 17, but I didn't want to hear about it so I didn't pay attention to it. I have no interest in sex being ace, but I would think my parents would've thought at some point they should probably give me some kind of education.

Jason B.: I started sex education when my son was 9 or 10 years old. Just the basics at first and built up from there over time. I never withhold any truth and facts from him.

Sarah I.: Sex ed needs to start at home when your child starts asking questions. There should be no shame and there needs to be a sense of openness conveyed to the child so they will come to parents with questions or problems.

Sarah F.: My kids are pretty young and can't keep secrets or follow directions very well, so at this point we're sticking to keeping private parts private and respecting other people's bodies. Once they are old enough to understand more, they will be taught that sex is how babies are made, and you don't have sex with anyone you wouldn't be willing to raise a baby with (and vice versa). Also, having recreational sex with people outside of marriage is a great way to catch and spread certain diseases. And definitely the facts of prenatal development. That contraceptives don't work 100% of the time and that abortion kills a person. That parenting, while rewarding, is a major responsibility.

Alex B.: My children already know the names of their parts and have a basic idea of how they work. As they get closer to puberty we will tell them more. Once they may consider having sex we will make sure they have access to all the contraception they need. Hopefully the male pill will be available for my son!

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