Everyone has sex. (Part 2 in 3)

Hello! And welcome to part 2 in a 3-part series on:

What I Think About Parents and Sex Education!

Today I’m talking about the second point that parents need to explicitly acknowledge:

Everyone has sex. Not all teenagers. But all teenagers do need to learn the facts about sex. It’ll come in useful at some point. Promise.

The main point I want to make here is that you can educate your teenager about sex and sexuality without assuming that your child will therefore start having sex. Maybe your teenager will have sex during high school – maybe not. About half of all teenagers do. About half of all teenagers do not.

But I’m not even going to get into this argument right now. Because here’s the point: Everyone needs to know the facts about sex and sexuality. End of story.

This is not an argument about whether it’s okay for teenagers to have sex. This is not an argument about whether people should wait until marriage to have sex. This IS an argument for basic information about an activity that almost everyone in the world engages in at some point in their lives.

So if you have a hard time with sexuality education because you want your teenager to avoid having sex, change your perspective on what sexuality education is meant to do. Sex Ed is not like Driver’s Ed – you don’t get a license at the end. What you should get is good information that you can draw on throughout your life about (a) your mind and body and (b) other people’s minds and bodies and (c) how they interact.

(And, before someone posts a comment about it, I want to point out that, in fact, not everyone has sex. But the vast majority of people do, and it’s probably safe to assume that your kid will. And even if he or she does not have sex, he or she should still be knowledgeable about it.)

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.