Last night I watched a controversial UK documentary featuring Goedele Liekens, a dutch television presenter who went to university to become a professor in all matters of sex, and participated as temporary student educator in the show called “Sex In Class”.
Based only on the program’s title I made up my mind it wouldn’t be something I could agree with, and rightly so, with Liekens talking to students about men jazzing on faces of women, quizzing them on how long it takes for a woman to orgasm and telling them to recreate a script for their own pornography story.
In an interview with Radio Times, Liekens says “When I was growing up, teachers could afford to be less frank. Their pupils’ notion of healthy relationships wasn’t being warped by the internet. But times have changed. If teachers shy away from discussing sex in explicit detail, we lose all chance of counteracting porn’s disastrous effect on our young people.”
This had me thinking of my own school sexual education experience in year 6 (2 lessons). I was told when I get my period the blood would come out of my bum, cue the horror. Understandably I remember nothing after that, probably because I was rocking in the corner of the class thinking it was only a matter of weeks before I’d start bleeding from my ANUS and I would probably die from bum bleeding, then all the kids would laugh at me because I died bleeding from my bum.
Or there was that other time when I thought I could get pregnant from pashing my primary school boyfriend Mario because conception was never properly explained to us as “penis goes in the vagina, semen, blah blah”, just “boy and girl are in love and have a baby”. The school failed, my parents set me straight, all is right in the world again.
Ok, so I’m beginning to think the former Miss Belgium has a point.
The program began with Liekens talking to a class of boys and girls aged 15 and 16. She shows them a portrait (Project Bush by Alisa Connan) of various hairy and non-hairy vaginas and asked the teens what they thought was normal.
I was dismayed at the reactions of the boys pointing to the baby-like hairless mounds, exclaiming that women simply shouldn’t have a hairy vagina and would dump their girlfriends if they found out they had muff fluff.
My jaw continued its descent to the floor when the education system in the UK was exposed as having visual teaching aids sans clitoris, and a vague sexual education curriculum that seemed to hand-ball the subject of explicit sexual education to the online porn industry.
Most amusing was her talk with UK Government MP Graham Stewart (who is the Chairman of the Education Select Committee) to change school sexual relationship education curriculums to be without specified content to allow subject matters such as consent and sexual pleasure. His obvious inability to vocalise the word ‘clitoris’ and seeing his eyes darting around the room at each mention of the word, was laughable.
Back in the classroom there was some enlightening group discussions surrounding the boys understanding of (or lack of) consent. They were given homework; shave their genitals every day to understand how it feels for girls to maintain a hairless hoo hoo, therefore embracing girl pubes and having more respect. I was dubious of this assignment at first but listening to the conversations of the boys later it was a total genius move. Well played Goedele, well played.
For the girls, they were given mirrors to learn the anatomy of their vaginas, a great idea considering none of them knew where their clitoris was when asked to draw a diagram of female genitals.
When the teachers of the school and the parents were talking of their teens’ knowledge of sex, they seemed surprised (maybe jealous?) the kids knew more than they thought about performing sexual acts. The adults were apprehensive that explicit sexual education would be a good thing when the kids were already so over-exposed to sex thanks to porn, but seeing the results of Goedele’s unconventional methods has completely changed their views on her idea of the content of a sexual education class.
Being open about sex is still so taboo in countries like the UK, Australia and America. By censoring students about subjects such as sex, consent and sexual pleasure, it steers them to seek out information online that they are lacking from trusted and safe sources such as teachers and parents, and become exposed to the unrealistic world of porn.
“Our children need a strong counterbalance to porn. It was obvious the boys were confused about sex and sexual consent when they were talking between each other about the legalities of sex acts they have seen online and school curriculums lack the information kids need to form an understanding of consent.”
I agree with Goedele. Our kids deserve a full and proper education and this includes inclusive, no holds barred teachings about explicit sexual issues.
Sexology in schools should be mandatory.
It should be noted “Both the school and parents were fully aware of the content that would be covered in the course and gave full consent for the Year 11 pupils to take part.”