How much sex education did you get in school and at home?

posted 3 years ago in Intimacy
Post # 3
5392 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

@SpecialSundae:  My parents have always been open; my mum did the whole ‘where babies come from’ talk when I was about 3 or 4 and she was expecting my brother, and she’s always been open about contraception etc. I also read a lot of teen magazines from the age of 11 or so and also got a lot of information there.

The sex ed at school was practically non-existent as it was a Catholic school; we had one lesson I think, in Year 10 (age 15 for US Bees), which was a year earlier than normal as our year group were considered more ‘grown up’ (ie a reasonable proportion of us had already had sex), and it was literally ‘Here is a list of STDs; here are the symptoms of STDs; condoms protect against STDs; now, watch this video where everyone thinks that you should wait until marriage before you have sex’.

My friends had a shockingly poor knowledge of sex/sexual health related issues as their parents didn’t discuss anything with them, and they weren’t allowed to read the magazines I did; so, they relied on their friends which tends not to be the best idea.

Now, as adults, I’d say I have by far the healthiest and most sensible and safe approach to sex and sexual health; the risks they all take astounds me, and they are really not clued up about basic things like contraception. It baffles me.

Post # 4
462 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

my mom was very open with me about body parts and sex from a very young age (though the younger i was, she didn’t go into details, but as i grew up she explained the importance of safe sex). she had always said i could go to her about anything, though i never did in regards to sex because of embarrassment. she was very open with other things, like periods though, more so than most moms, judging by how my friends have talked about their experiences. 

in school, we were taught about stds, how to use condoms (both male and female) and were told about hormonal birth control options. i have found that our sex ed was really to the point, and real. it wasn’t anything like “if you have sex, you WILL get an std/get pregnant and die/other extreme things)”. we were told about pregnancy, we were told about stds, we were told how to prevent them. we were told about plan b for emergencies, and i don’t think they ever touched on abortions. we were given information regarding rape, and who to go to if that ever were to happen. 

what i learned for myself is that it’s good to laugh at/during sex. embarrassing things happen, but it’s not the end of the world. sex should be fun, not a chore, and not embarrassing (in my opinion). 

Post # 5
498 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Very little, almost nothing, i went to catholic school & my parents never gave me the sex talk haha

Post # 6
825 posts
Busy bee

What were you taught in school? Almost nothing. We got 10 extra points on each test for writing ‘abstinence’ at the top of each one. It was a lot of Mean Girls:

What did your family tell you at home?  I knew about condoms and birth control and was completely supported in going to get birth control at 16. My mom still asked us to wait until marriage but was completely supportive of whatever choices we made as long as we were safe. 

What did you have to learn for yourself?
Everyting else. The first guy I slept with was such a toolbox but god bless him I thought I would get magically knocked up from being in the general vicinity of a peen while naked.


Post # 7
3407 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

What were you taught in school? My parents are very conservative and although they started offering sex education in 4th and 6th grade my mother did not allow me to attend. She was worried about the way they approached sex ed. Though I did have sex ed in 9th grade. They basically explained periods, birthcontrol, and how fertilization and all that works.  I also to take a sex education class in college, but I am a community health student so we take that so we can teach sex ed. 


What did your family tell you at home?  My mom used a book to explain sex and of course told me it was for married couples. The book was very basic, it explained male versus female parts and how fertilization worked and what different people believe about sex. Before marriage after ect.


What did you have to learn for yourself? I was a very curious child, so when I was in my teens I took it upon myself to learn about sex. I learned about positions and that sex was not just for procreation, but also for recreation.


Overall, I learned the majority of what I know by myself, and the more advanced biological functions I learned during my college studies. I feel like I know too much though! lol






Post # 8
1719 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

My school system (public school, town of maybe 8k people total, so small) was VERY VERY good about sex education.  They actually did not just preach abstinence (though that was offered as an option), but also safe sex and different kinds of birth control.  They made it very clear that preventing pregnancy and preventing STDs were important and you did not use the same measures for both.  We did have to study all of the STDs which is kind of gross, but I think it made us pretty thoughtful.  We started this education early in like 2nd grade by talking about body parts and safe touching and I think around 6th or 7th grade the talks included sex, sexuality, etc (though we may have learned about babies being made earlier).  They also would touch on homosexuality in a neutral way which was appreciated.


At home, I remember being like 7 and walking in on my parents doing it and asking if that was sex (AWKWARD!!!).  I thought for the longest time that sex was rolling around naked in bed with someone haha. My mom was open to me about stuff whenever I asked and as a teenager I could talk to her about anything, but I don’t really recall her telling me in detail about stuff.  I knew what the word sex was, but didn’t really “get it” until later I guess.

Learn for myself- oh lots of things.  I didn’t really understand everything until I was doing it I guess LOL.  Luckily I waited until I was older to have intercourse because I don’t think I was really emotionally prepared for it. If I’d have had the internet more available when I was younger… ohhh man LOL.

Post # 9
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I attended public school in Virginia. Sex education started in 5th grade (age ~11) and went through 10th grade (age ~15). It wasn’t mandatory, but most of my classmates didn’t opt out. 5th grade didn’t really go into sex but it covered basic puberty issues, like menstruation and basic body changes. Girls and boys were taught separately until 9th and 10th grade, and the sexual education course lasted anywhere from a week to 1 month. The middle school years really focused on the “why being a teenage mom sucks and how to avoid it,” and I think more schools need this approach.  

My mom was pretty open with me and encouraged me to ask questions. When I was 11, she gave me a book about puberty and I read it obsessively. I don’t remember having an official sex talk, but I know I asked her questions here and there. My aunt was also very upfront with me and my cousin with that kind of stuff, so I had a few resources, which was great. 

Post # 10
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@SpecialSundae:  my parents never did the sex talk but we had sex education along with health class in grade 6. We got it a lot earlier than most due to a high rate of teen pregnancies and abortions but that has only gone up. I do blame the high rate on certain local doctors being old school and not being more open minded for teens bc. The information either stuck or didnt. I also took a human sexuality class in college that was really nice and I felt it gave me an upper hand when making decisions for myself. I still have friends that have no knowledge of anything. I get questions from them all the time, I volunteer at planned parenthood, and I would say they still have a pre-teens take on sex and conception.

Post # 11
1662 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Interesting question! I look forward to reading some more responses. For now, I’ll start.

School taught me everything I feel I needed to know. We learned about all the mechanics, how you can get pregnant, what prevents it and why, plus the degree to which each contraception method will work. We learned about exactly what happens in each body that makes pregnancy possible, the specifics of menstrual cycles and how sperm are created etc. They touched on the emotional aspects of it a little bit and gave us a help number. They invited everyone to touch a condom and to put a tiny bit of spermicide foam on our hands so that we would know if we were allergic to any of it. We also learned about STI’s. Protection and recognizing the signs of each. I would say school was very thorough. 

They didn’t push abstinence too much, but it did come up as the only 100% safe thing against pregnancy and STI’s.

I think this will vary greatly based on geography. I’m Canadian.

At home, I never received “the talk”. I didn’t worry about it because I was confident in the information from school.

I learned about the enjoyable aspects for myself. 🙂

Post # 12
8518 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

My parents told me nothing. At all. I remember when I was 11, I asked my dad what a virgin was and he said “uh… Someone that hasnt had sex.” But I had no clue what sex was at all, so it wasnt really helpful.

Sex ed was… Basically nothing. We had it for 2 weeks in 9th grade and that was all. They didnt explain what it was, or how pregnancy happened. She basically just said to use condoms and birth control and left it at that.

I honestly learned pretty much everything about sex from reading graphic novels. lol. I love my word porn!

Post # 13
150 posts
Blushing bee

@SpecialSundae:  We were taught a lot in school. Sex ed, if I remember correctly, started in 5th grade (just the basics, where babies come from). It was much more in depth in junior high, and we were taught about contraceptives and STD’s.


In my high school graduating class (around 500 students), there were 0 pregnancies. Many of my friends who went to high schools in a few towns over told me they had at least 5 girls in their class that got pregnant throughout high school.


I think the school district that I grew up with is fabulous and did a great job with sex ed.


My parents never really brought up the birds and the bees because they were fully aware of the sex ed programs in school, and had to sign off on these courses. My mom was the one who encouraged me to get on the pill when I turned 18 and was leaving for college.


Post # 14
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

@SpecialSundae:  When I was younger I lived in a ghetto area where there was a high incidence of young teen pregnancy (I knew a girl who had twins at 12) so we started having sex ed in 7th grade. That combined with the fact that my mom is a nurse made for some pretty thorough education. Did I follow all of it? No, but that was my own stupid choice. 

ETA: 7th grade was actual sex ed. Reproductive Ed was 4th grade.

Post # 15
1416 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We had an “abstinence” based sex ed class maybe in 7th grade. That was the last i heard of that topic in school. At home my mom had no filter so she would talk to me about sex often. I never felt comfortable asking her much so most of what i know i’ve learned myself. Although, she did take me to get birth control. 

Post # 16
4540 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Royalton White Sands

What were you taught in school?

Basically nothing. I went to a private Christian school. My male best friend explained the basics to me when I was 13.

What did your family tell you at home?

My mom gave me three very unhelpful books… one was about how to explain sex to preschoolers, and it had pictures of cartoon elephants. Needless to say, it wasn’t helpful. 

What did you have to learn for yourself?

Basically everything beyond the basics. There was a lot I didn’t fully understand until I actually became sexually active. Thankfully FH was my first (and only).

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