A more accurate headline for the article “Sex at School Increasing, Some Educators Say” would be “Our Knowledge of Sex at School Increasing”. The kids may be getting more bold and creative with venue and other specifics, but to suggest that sexual activity is on the rise is to ignore and dismiss the reality of the activity that was already taking place. The in-house orgy of eight students in the auditorium of Manassas, Virginia’s Obourn High School auditorium prompted school officials to issue suspensions but did not prompt a more progressive sex-education program. The district is only now coming to realize the need for a rule prohibiting sexual activity on school grounds. Sounds like some educators could use a little more sex education themselves.
It’s not shocking but rather a matter of serious concern that this same school district’s sexual education instruction focuses on abstinence and STD’s but not on condoms, contraception, or any aspect of sexuality disallowed by abstinence. What else have they left out? It’s not just these playboy mansion wanna-bes having sex on and off campus. It leaves all children in a dangerous place to make them aware of STD’s but give them no preventative instruction. Clearly they weren’t scared sex-less.
Having bypassed the abstinence portion of the program, how were these kids prepared to prevent potential physical consequences? Additionally, one wonders if the kids were prepared in any way for what is sure to be an ongoing social consequence of their actions. While the boys lament the loss to the football team, the girls lament the labels and double standard. These are real and expected consequences. Given the circumstances, it’s a good bet no one told the kids that even if there are no physical consequences to the action (to include school discipline), the social consequences could alter a person’s life. This incident will still be on someone’s mind and lips well into their 25th school reunion. Hopefully this will set off an alarm in other districts that their kids are engaging in very adult behaviors with the most elementary set of skills.
It should come as no surprise that many children don’t cherish and honor the sexual part of their lives with respect and responsibility. These all-important aspects of sexuality are left out of their sexual education and are instead countered with shame and avoidance. Even more progressive sex-ed programs don’t counter the negative consequences of sexual activity with the positive consequences — consequences that simply cannot be realized unless one is educated, possesses a positive self-image, and has the social skills to differentiate between a good partner and a bad partner.
Obviously these kids are not waiting “till death do us part” to get busy. Even adults know that one’s wedding night is not a good time to find out about your wife’s psychopathic obsession with flannel or that your new husband is no more endowed now than when he was born. It does these kids no favor to keep them in the dark or even in the shadow of the light. We can’t keep expecting them to make sound adult decisions about an adult activity when we limit the amount and kind of information they’re given. These kids aren’t stupid — they’re undereducated. Many of them would be right to guess that many of their classmates don’t have an STD, yet. The girls just might get away with the unfounded notion that they can’t get pregnant right after or right before their period, for a while. In their minds and with the limited knowledge they have, what else is there to know?
There’s plenty more to know — but who’s telling them?