Sex education in the United States is a mess. The mandates on the subject are very vague and loose, and many developing students have suffered because of it. Under informed kids are at higher risk for STDs and teen pregnancies than students with more thorough sex ed. Two articles I read on the topic that interested me were “What’s The State Of Sex Education In The U.S.?” and “The Sex Study That Could Alter Our Understanding Of Campus Assault“. According to the first article, almost 100 percent of American parents support stronger sex education in middle school and high school. Only 34 states have a mandated policy to teach students about HIV and only 24 have a mandated sex ed class. In those states the guidelines are not remotely clear and do not require schools to teach much specifics, just that there is a sex ed class. The specifics of what has to be taught is pretty much entirely left up to the individual school districts which obviously leads to a gap in knowledge from school to school and especially from state to state. The second article is more about how college students interact with each other. It states much of their behaviors are crystal clear warning signs of students who either did not receive proper education on consent and harassment or even more frighteningly, none at all. Rape statistics in colleges are frightening across the board so if middle and high schools can do something to help that they absolutely should. The second article really shows the effects of the lack of sex ed discussed in the first article. We could use the information in this article in a number of ways. We could very easily use it to show cause and effect which would be effective and eye opening to our audience. There are a number of ways to work that information in but I feel that’s the best one.
The title of our deliberation is going to be “Let’s Talk About Sex (ed) Baby.” It’s a bit on the corny side but it’s memorable and it was all we had. It should definitely grab the attention of people reading it.
Our deliberation is about sex education in schools in the United States, mainly focusing on high school sex ed classes but not ignoring the less detailed forms of sex ed given in middle and elementary schools. We are looking at this issue through 3 different approaches. The first approach will be focusing on the medical aspect of sex ed. STI’s, vaccinations, and how to practice safe sex will all be looked at. The second approach will look at social stigmas surrounding sex and education.The third approach is going to be looking at sex ed in terms of what consent is and how we can make sure to keep all sexual encounters safe and consensual.
My role is being in the summary and outreach mini team. I am going to be finding and reaching out to various people and organizations from this area and try to get them to come to our deliberation. We’ll also be providing a summary and post deliberation questions for people.
Right now my mini team and I are working on a flyer to hang up at popular spots around campus to hopefully entice them to show up and listen to what we have to say. The other day in class we found and listed a bunch of local organizations we want to ask to come listen. Tomorrow we will probably find a time to get together and contact these people to hopefully convince them to come. After that we’ll be coming up with post deliberation questions for our topic and then creating and providing a summary of all 3 of our approaches.
I have never been a normal kid. Ever since I was young I always noticed that I was just a little different from the kids I went to school and played sports with. Like a lot of kids who felt like outsiders, I spent much of my childhood as a very shy and self conscious kid. In pre school it got so bad that I could barely even talk to some people. After a bit of therapy I got past that, but I was still no social butterfly. I was still different. And children aren’t exactly the most understanding people when it comes to accepting differences. I got made fun of for a number of things. How skinny I was and my awkward personality were the primary targets. For years this went on and I always took it very personally. Each insult struck me hard. Then 8th grade rolled around. After years of feeling like an outcast and shying away from every insult that came my way, I started to take a look around me. I realized that kids that age pretty much make fun of everyone, and that I shouldn’t take every insult to heart.
It was just dumb luck that this personal revelation came just after I started getting into comedy, especially in the form of late night talk shows, my favorite being Conan O’Brien. I was inspired with how this lanky goofball managed to get up in front of millions of people and shamelessly mock himself in every way imaginable. That made me realize that the secret to overcoming my insecurities wasn’t to push them down and hope nobody notices them. The secret is to own them, accept and embrace them. I stopped letting my insecurities bother me and instead began to poke fun at them myself. Some people misconstrue this as a coping mechanism for self loathing, but I feel it’s just the opposite. Robin Williams, another favorite of mine, once said, “The world is open for play, everything and everybody is mockable, in a wonderful way.” What he is saying here, what has become my philosophy, is that life is better lived when filled with laughter. We all face pressures and insecurities, but they can all be made less daunting or crippling with humor.
I still have many of the same imperfections I had years ago, but instead of letting them become insecurities, I make them my very own punchlines, and I am happier because of it.