Sex education needs a modern update

Sex can be a positive thing. But when states like Utah declare sex a public health hazard, it only reinforces the stigma toward sex. What these legislators fail to comprehend is that porn is not responsible for women’s objectification or their hypersexualization. Rather, it is a symptom of the U.S.’s failure to provide an adequate sex education.

U.S. teens are not any more sexually active than their Canadian or European counterparts. However, American teens treat sex less maturely than teens of other countries according to the Guttmacher Institute’s findings.

According to the study, “[U.S. teenagers] are more likely to have shorter and less consistent sexual relationships, and are less likely to use contraceptives, especially the pill or dual methods.”The same findings revealed a higher rate of STIs in American teens, compared to Western Europe. Sex education with higher accessibility to medically accurate information could lead to more responsible sexual activity amongst teens. Even when children ask their parents about sex, they are unfortunately just as ill-informed. Many teens then turn to online research, of which 46 percent have misinformation about contraceptives.

Porn is a reflection of our own limited understanding and inadequate education of sex and sexuality. According to researchers at the University of Indiana, certain pornography objectifies women and even influences social decisions, such as hiring women. The study found that increased porn consumption correlates to increased workplace discrimination — a demonstration that misogyny in porn can have harmful effects outside of the bedroom.

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