“Does comprehensive sex education take away from the ‘mystique?'”

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If you read my last post, you see that the 5th graders went heavy into the skill of putting on a condom. This lesson, I might highlight, was in addition to the 12 very concrete, sequenced, comprehensive lessons in the curriculum. I was able to enhance a few of the standard lessons – with a workshop on media messages, looking at romantic song lyrics, healthy relationships – in real life and on tv, etc – and really prolong this class. One of them asked me today how much longer we have, and seriously, let’s just dedicate the whole year at this point – it seems that would make them- and me, clearly, extremely happy.

After the condom demonstration lesson, a teacher came up to me and said, “Listen, I just want you to keep in mind to never take away from the mystique of sex as you are teaching classes.”As I walked away I had to wonder, did he mean the Feminine Mystique? Doubtful.

This comment made me angry- maybe unnecessarily, which is why I bring it to you, the blogosphere, to help me make sense of it.

From my perspective, there is no way that the genuine feeling of first love (if that’s what he meant), or the aura of mystery, the power and awe of being skin to skin (lip to lip, etc etc) with someone – when they are ready – will become desensitized because of a series of classes focused on comprehensive sexuality education. One of the exit tickets today even read, “BE PREPARED – in body, mind and spirit.” I don’t think I’ve ruined anything for them about future sexual relationships. There’s still giddy excitement running through their bodies and charging up the classroom, and I seriously doubt that will diminish anytime soon.

What I can hope for, however, is before they get too lost in that mysterious moment and swept away like in a soap opera (urgh), that they recall how to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy and STIs and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

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