What sexuality education is not

I love the Invisible Life of Poet.  His strip from yesterday struck me as particularly relevant.  I’m including it down below, but I want to talk about why it struck me first.

What this particular strip does is address the fears that adults have about sexuality education.  The worry is that sex ed gives children and teenagers these words, along with explanations, about what consenting adults are doing behind closed (and hopefully locked) doors.  This is an incorrect assumption.  Good sexuality education does not give kids adult-level information.  It meets them where they are and talks about their concerns of the moment, and maybe one step beyond.  The problem is that what is “age appropriate” is radically different for different same-age populations.  With some Middle School kids, sex education should focus mostly things like the implications of sweaty palms when you want to hold hands and how to manage unwanted erections.  With other Middle School kids, they need serious information about STD prevention and how to obtain legal access to an abortion.

But really very few Middle School kids need (or want!) to know about the variety of bizarre things adults do in bed.  And by the way, this comic is one that you probably shouldn’t show to your teenager, unless you’ve got a pretty uncommon teenager and a pretty uncommon parent-child relationship with your teenager.

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.


  1. *laugh* Hey, I’m an adult and I don’t want to know about the bizarre things adults do in bed! *is very, VERY boring*

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