Growing up, everyone must endure the dreaded sex ed class (boo!), often while giggling at “graphic” photo illustrations and squirming at descriptions of “adult” activities. It’s a high school rite of passage, even if it is a sucky one. But, did you actually learn something about safe sex and protectingyourself from STDs? According to the results of a shocking new global study, most millenials would say “nope.”
We were taught about sex and pleasure, sexual health and STDs and learned where babies come from–and it’s not the stork.
But somewhere along the way, it appears the education system failed us when it came to truly educating us on the dos and donts of sexual health.
According to the study, most students felt their high school sex-ed classes were “negative”, “gendered”, “heterosexist”, and perhaps even worse, outdated.
The young adults surveyed disclosed that while talking about sex in school is rather embarrassing, the instructors preaching about the topic weren’t exactly appealing either.
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The study cited that students have a “dislike of their own sex and relationship education (SRE) teachers, due to blurred boundaries, lack of anonymity, embarrassment and poor training” and “Young people report feeling vulnerable in SRE, with young men anxious to conceal sexual ignorance and young women risking sexual harassment if they participate. Schools appear to have difficulty accepting that some young people are sexually active, leading to SRE that is out of touch with many young people’s lives.”
As a result of the ill-equipped educational process, STD rates are now on the rise.
In 2014, the Chlamydia diagnosis rate was 2.4 times higher than it was 20 years ago with 1.4 million cases reported to the CDC. Gonorrhea was reported more than 350,000 times, which is a 10.5% increase from just 2010. To add to the problem, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is vastly growing in cities like Atlanta and some experts say is now as bad as that of developing countries.
Sure our sexual health classes dropped the ball, embarrassed us and maybe even scared us when it came time to do the deed.
But nothing is scarier than contracting a disease and being too frightened to seek treatment for it. Furthermore, the risk of actively exposing your partner or partners (hey, no judgement here) to a contracted but treatable infection should make you want to know your status at all times — period.
Millennials, can we really blame the school system when the statistics show we’re really the ones not taking our sexual health seriously?