How important is sex education?
“I think Sex Ed is equally, if not more, important than mathematics or English”
That quote comes from porn star Tasha Reign, so it should be considered in that context. In any case, parents should not rely on schools to educate their children about this important subject.
We can’t rely on school curriculum to teach future generations about the birds and the bees. This cringe-inducing topic, often considered one of the less serious school subjects (think PE and Driver’s Ed), is glossed over.
On the other hand, another source of sex education probably does more harm than good.
Someone has to tell kids that porn stars are like WWE wrestlers, and that real sex with a real partner isn’t like XXX flicks.
“Pornography is not meant to teach about sexual education, it is meant for adults and has no place in the hands of children,” says porn star and UCLA grad Tasha Reign….
The reality is that 93% of boys and 62% of girls have viewed online pornography by the time they are 18 years old, at least according to one study.
… If participants in this study are typical of young people, exposure to pornography on the Internet can be described as a normative experience, and more study of its impact is clearly warranted.
But “some parents would rather pretend their kids would never look at that stuff”.
“I think some parents have their heads buried in the sand,” says award-winning porn star and sex educator Jessica Drake. “If they don’t talk about it, then this problem doesn’t exist. I think they underestimate what their kids are looking at online.”
Perhaps surprising to many, clear evidence that porn harms children is not available.
… It turns out that the research suggesting that teenagers and pornography are a hazardous mix is far from definitive. In fact, many of the most comprehensive reports on this subject come to conclusions that amount to “we can’t say for sure” shrugs….
One meta-analysis found no causal relationships between porn and risky behavior.
After sifting through those papers, the report found a link between exposure to pornography and engagement in risky behavior, such as unprotected sex or sex at a young age. But little could be said about that link. Most important, “causal relationships” between pornography and risky behavior “could not be established,” the report concluded. Given the ease with which teenagers can find Internet pornography, it’s no surprise that those engaging in risky behavior have viewed pornography online. Just about every teenager has. So blaming X-rated images for risky behavior may be like concluding that cars are a leading cause of arson, because so many arsonists drive.
Parents have to play the biggest role in teaching the “difference between fantasy and reality”.
“Porn is fantasy and I think that kids need to be taught the difference between fantasy and reality, just like in video games or certain movies,” says Drake. “Obviously in a perfect world kids aren’t seeing porn when they are that young, but unfortunately the reality is that they do. It all boils down to education just like everything else really. First we need to educate the parents.”
Aurora Snow, “The Next Frontier of Sex Ed: How Porn Twists Teens’ Brains”, The Daily Beast, Nov. 29, 2014.
Chiara Sabina, Ph.D., Janis Wolak, J.D., and David Finkelhor, Ph.D., “The Nature and Dynamics of Internet Pornography Exposure for Youth”, Cyberpsychology & Behavior, Volume 11, Number 6, 2008.
David Segalmarch, “Does Porn Hurt Children?”, New York Times, March 28, 2014.