I went to a rural southern high school. Probably 90% white, 75% racist, 80% homophobic, and 128% redneck Bible-thumpers. My parents are by no means liberal, but we went to a Methodist church so we were labeled “liberal Christians.”
The first time I ever heard anything about sex was in church sometime in early elementary school. Our Sunday school teacher told us that sex was dirty and bad and a sin and NOT to do it.
My next lesson in sex came about a year later from my best friend after her parents had given her a brief and not accurate version of “the talk.” She told me that once a couple slept next to each-other in their underwear ONCE they would continuously have babies until the man chopped his penis off. I didn’t even know what a penis was (I don’t have any brothers and I was only like 7 or 8), but I was terrified. And vowed never to kiss a boy or lay down next to one EVER.
Fast forward to freshman year of high school. By this point I had done enough google searching (with deleted search histories of course) and mom had given me enough Christian sex ed books (rather than giving me “the talk”), to understand the basics of everything (from a religiously biased standpoint). I guess they figured most people knew what it was by now, so this religious group (senior in the school deemed “most christian” by a local pastor who lead the group) came around to all the freshman classes IN MY PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL (separation of church and state anyone? (I’ll make a polemic about this one day)) and did little skits and spoke to us about the moral, emotional, spiritual, and physical dangers of premarital sex (pretty sure there was tons of inaccurate information, or dare I say alternative facts). At the end we were all REQUIRED to sign pledges saying we wouldn’t have sex until marriage. PUBLIC SCHOOL.
The next year in health class, we were supposed to have formal sex education. Our “formal” sex education was a single day (of a 90 minute class) of our 60 year old health teacher showing us pictures of different STIs in the terribly out-dated and defaced health books, and ended the class very Mean Girls style saying something about not having sex or you WILL get an STI.
At this point in my life, I was still very religious, wore my purity ring daily, and hadn’t even kissed a boy, so I wasn’t concerned about the lack of sex education. Because I was waiting till marriage and so was my future husband, so WE had nothing to worry about on our *PeRfEcT* wedding night.
After being sexually assaulted, my perspective on a lot of things, including sex and religion changed drastically, and I suddenly realized that me, along with everyone that graduated from my high school had no sex education.
And then I wrote 4 papers and 3 speeches about it in college! And soon I will tell you guys all about it!