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The importance of sex education

Erika-Lee Shaw

Erika-Lee Shaw

There is a problem, a huge systemic problem with the way we think and feel about sex. Sex isn’t just an act of penetration. Sex permeates everything we are and everything we do, yet we are not given the tools with which to name and own that. Our young people aren’t taught about their bodies, so they don’t know how to protect them and be ‘in’ their body when making decisions about how they use it. Knowledge is power and yet we are afforded little to no knowledge of our sexuality as we grow up, which means we are disempowered. These disempowered or disembodied youth are either left to locate and learn these skills themselves or they grow into adults that have learnt to ‘leave’ their bodies when faced with conflict, discomfort or unsafe situations. 

We live in such a rich, flourishing and ‘free’ society compared with other countries of the world, yet we confine our minds and bodies to boxes of descriptions and sets of characteristics. Our sexuality is intrinsically connected to our mental, emotional and physical health. We cannot separate the sexual and the asexual unless we wish to continue living in a world where people don’t know who they are, what their bodies are capable of and how much power they have over their lives. 

Sexual health and sexuality education is one of the ways we can give our young people the tools and understanding to become radically empowered. 

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