Earlier this year, I commented on one of Jordan Peterson's social media posts. He was waxing lyrical about the current cultural attitude toward sex, which he perceives is that it is merely a "light form of entertainment," saying that reliable birth control is the reason for this, because "the consequences [of sex] have been lessened in their heaviness." Never mind the fact that young people today are actually have less sex than previous generations, my comment was that if Peterson was so concerned about sex, then surely he must be an advocate for comprehensive sex education, but he isn't.
Here is a collection of some of the responses I received to my comment;
Pronouns in bio = opinion discarded
Pronouns in your bio... Just say you piss sitting down and call it a day
Opinions [sic] in bio, anything you say is not valuable to anyone
What's your definition of comprehensive sex education? Normalizing children to sex?
If your definition of comprehensive sex education is what's being taught by liberal-aligned SJW's in schools right now, you deserve to be locked up
Just admit you want to have sex with minors
There were more. You've probably heard the fear mongering, seen the false equivalencies, and endured the lack of critical thinking demonstrated in these comments. I thought it would be a good idea to speak about the importance of comprehensive sex education because it is obvious from comments like these that many people are misinformed about what it actually is.
In the USA, the government has funded abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs for decades. As one response to my comment put it, "Wait until marriage or at least until you have settled somewhat stable with someone and this is what and how it happens." However, there is a lot of evidence demonstrating how ineffective this approach is. I mean, have you ever tried telling a teenager they're not allowed to do something?
Comprehensive sex education addresses a wide range of topics, including the social, emotional and interpersonal aspects of sexuality, as well as emphasising evidence-based, medically accurate and age- and developmentally-appropriate information. For example, in early childhood, this can involve teaching children the proper names for their body (e.g. "Elbow," "nose," "penis," and "vulva") as well as body autonomy (e.g. The areas that a swimsuit covers are private and no one should ask to look at or touch their swimsuit areas). At this age, they can and should learn that their body belongs to them. It is not teaching kids how have anal sex by showing them porn – a claim made by former Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes.
In adolescence, comprehensive sex education involves teaching teenagers about sexual health and safer-sex practices to minimise risk of pregnancy and STI transmission. Funnily enough, one of those practices is abstinence. That's right, comprehensive sex education teaches that abstinence is perfectly acceptable. It just doesn't teach it as the ONLY practice. In fact, this is more effective at promoting contraceptive use and lowering teenage pregnancy rates compared to abstinence-only programs. According to national survey results, comprehensive sex education is also more valued by pupils as a source of information on sexuality.
I reckon we're only going to see more and more of the kinds of comments I shared above. The best thing to do is be informed about what comprehensive sex education actually is and why it is important. As I said, if people like Jordan Peterson actually cared about sex, then they'd be advocating for comprehensive sex education.