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

posted 6 years ago in Intimacy
Post # 62
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I think this will vary a lot by location… I found that my education was very thorough in some ways and not so much in others.

What were you taught in school?

We were taught basic biology/ about the physical changes of adolescence from a very young age. We also discussed abortion in our RE lessons when we were about 11, and we had to debate the pros and cons. Sex education was not on the syllabus as such, but I watched a video of childbirth in biology class when I was about 11. Learning about human hormones and how hormonal birth control (as well as other drugs) work was part of my GCSE syllabus. We did get a single biology class discussing BC when I was about 15, where the very embarassed teacher discussed condoms, femidoms and the like, whilst all the boys laughed hysterically and kept asking if we could “do a practical”. That lesson was an “opt in” lesson… you had to get parental consent. All the rest was required. We were also never, ever taught about abstainence… I’m fairly sure that this is national policy, because statistically then teaching abstainence doesn’t work. I only know one person who planned to be a virgin until marriage…. she lost her virginity before all the rest of us, in the end, and has since had the highest number of sexual partners and disasterous relationships by far.

I think I’m right in saying that my school did do PSE classes as well, but I didn’t attend them because I took an extra academic class instead, because PSE didn’t count towards a GCSE. They are supposed to cover healthy emotional and physical relationships as part of the course, so I don’t know what I missed there.

What did your family tell you at home?

My family encouraged me to learn biology, and I was provided with supplementary educational textbooks in a variety of subjects. These included books on human development, growth and hormones, and also covered pregnancy and birth. However, they did not discuss sex with me really.

When I was in my mid to late teens, my father gave me some very good advice about dating and relationships: what to order or not order from a menu when on a date with a young man, and to always arrive exactly 5 minutes late (allow the young man time to get there, take off his coat, and calm down a little, he said. But don’t be later than 5 minutes late or he’ll think he’s been stood up!). He also taught me about game playing and human interactions. But nothing about sex per se… I think he assumed that the school would have taught me all of that. I still keep his advice in mind to this day.

When I was 17, my Mum (who is pretty unbalanced, to be fair) sat my brother and I down for “the talk”. We were practically crimson with embarassment, and we also really wanted to point out that we were a litle old for this. Although we were both still virgins at that age, we could very well not have been: that talk was years overdue. Anyway, she made it a big deal, and then she said :”OK, sex. So the thing about sex is this: just don’t have it until you get married.”

Having never heard the abstainance message before, except on American teenage comedies, we both assumed that she was joking and burst out laughing. I was amazed to find she was serious! She was quite offended, actually. The joke was on us when we told our father what she had just said though (our parents were divorced by then)… at first, he started laughing along with us, but then he said “that’s bloody hypocritical of her!” At this point, we then had the image of our parents having sex in our minds. That was not so amusing for us… so ultimately, the joke was on us!

What did you have to learn for yourself?

I was very shocked to find out some of the gaps in my education. For example, I knew next to nothing about foreplay, and had to pick a lot up from Sex and the City. I also had to learn about how antibiotics make the pill ineffective, which your GP doesn’t tell you. It is also not in the information you get with the pill, which I find shocking. Also, I was unaware of options like nexaplon and the POP until I was an adult. I thought it was a choice between the combined pill, condoms, and femidoms until I was well into my 20s. I didn’t even know that there were different brands of the pill.

On the other hand, because I had absorbed so much from biology and medical texts, I thought that it was totally normal to have a full STD screening every six months to a year if you were sexually active, to use both hormonal and barrier contraception at the same time (because I was taught that both have different primary purposes in preventing STDs/pregnancy) and that sort of thing. So in some ways, I suppose I was over-thorough!

I don’t know when I learned about Save-The-Date Cards and from whom, but I was always very aware, and had a fairly encyclopaedic knowledge. The kids used to tease each other at school by saying “X has syphilis!” and similar, even when they were really young, so I was always quite knowledgeable. I also think that AIDS was on our biology syllabus as an example of a modern epidemic?

Post # 63
982 posts
Busy bee

@SpecialSundae:  I had the sex talk when I was about 9. I had been asking questions. My Mum had this book ‘where do babies come from?’ That was designed for kids about my age.

Sex education at a Catholic school is pretty non-existent. I remember we had a lesson about STD’s once. But they made it seem like you had to sleep around to get one, which is not true at all. But besides that, it was a big ‘don’t do it’ sort of thing. I went on birth control at 16 due to painful periods and rupturing ovarian cysts.

I learned a lot by reading Dolly magazine, talking to friends and comparing notes about what we knew. I remember as a young teenager, hearing about oral sex and thinking it was a really new thing! I also remember reading in Dolly that it will be scary seeing your first penis, so that was always in the back of my mind, LOL!

I think schools and parents cover the basics, and you figure out the rest as you go along. I think hearing at 9 about hand jobs, oral sex and anal sex would have been a bit too much – as it was, where babies came from was A LOT to take in! 

BTW- great question! I’m very interested to hear other people’s stories!

Post # 64
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Nothing in school and nothing at home. I learned most everything from reading Judy Blume books and Seventeen magazine. And then by doing it.

Sad, but true.

Post # 65
4854 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

In grade school the majority of “sex ed” really focused on puberty, mensturation and pregnancy. We did not learn about female frontal anatomy for some reason. Only internal anatomy. We were not taught abou STI’s or STD’s. There was no discussion on the nature of sexual relationships, feelings, orgasms etc. There was no discussion of masturbation outside of a technical definition.

My mom was a nurse and was far more “here’s the way it is” about things. Unfortunately there were times when she used some fear tactics that were not helpful. 

If I were in the position of providing sex education to someone I would be far more open and detailed about it to be honest. I think I could have been better educated on some things earlier. 

Post # 66
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Same as most bees with public school education… sex ed was basic, mainly focusing on puberty and later on, sti and a touch on sex which was mainly abstinence. 

My parents never had the talk with me nor did I ever asked them. 

When I was in middle school, my cousin who was older than me by a couple years told me that during sex, a guy pees in a girl. All I remembered thinking was wtf?

Most of my sex knowledge came from internet and porn. I read a lot of romantic books too. My parents didn’t know English so they never knew.

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