Gemma Fine|14.06.2013|Feature Sex Life
Gemma tells us why sex education should be more than a chance to mess around with cucumbers and shout out inappropriate comments

When I was at school the sex education lessons were the ones that everyone wanted to go to. I mean, we only had them once, maybe twice a year and they were always viewed as a chance to embarrass teachers, mess around with condoms and cucumbers and shout out inappropriate comments. The fact that the UK has such a high teenage pregnancy rate doesn’t surprise me because, instead of listening to the dangers and risks of unprotected sex, we did all of the above.

Clearly the way in which sex education is taught needs to change. The fact that lessons are so infrequent shows to what extent it’s such a low-level priority on the curriculum. Sex education is vital. It’s not just educating young people about sex, it’s also educating about health, relationships and emotions.

In schools, teachers who teach the subject often appear inexperienced which means we are subjected to listening to a teacher stutter and avoid eye contact. And we’re expected to listen intently?

Our schools need qualified sex education teachers giving interesting lessons rather than the embarrassing, awkward encounters that we have now. Having spoken to many of my boy friends it seems that sex-education for boys is even more difficult because they don’t want to ask questions.

Perhaps this lack of desire to participate is because they all want to appear to know everything about sex. How to do it, where to do it, where everything is. Well, I think that the majority of young girls out there would agree with me that the majority of young boys are not all good at sex, don’t know how to do it and definitely don’t know where everything is.

Home, perhaps, is a better source of sex education. But talking to a parent can be very awkward. I’m really lucky in this respect as my mum is always more than happy to talk to me about sex. When I say more than happy, I mean overly happy; asking me intimate questions about my sex life and then going on to talk about hers…with my dad.

So, there definitely needs to be a balance. Every teenager or young person needs some privacy don’t they?

In many countries, sex education is clearly not working. In the UK, our teenage pregnancy rates, although at their lowest in many years, are still too high.

So how can we change this? How can we get young people to speak up more, ask questions and get involved in conversations about sex? It’s got to the point where us teens need to take charge.

There’s no value in learning about sex from prude teachers and parents; we need to know about the real world and the truth is, the real world consists of teenagers having sex from young ages and STIs being overly prevalent. We need to make this change; we need to be the ones to revolutionize the way sex-education is taught. We need to get rid of the awkward and embarrassing talks and instead transform our sex education into fun, relaxed conversations that we want to listen to – for the right reasons.

How would you like to be taught about sex?

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