The Netflix show Sex Education is a great example of how queer and diverse sex education can be implanted in an education system in order to avoid the stigma around sex as a topic itself but also expanding the focus of a very heterosexual sex education system in the United States.
The show Sex Education takes places at a high school in the UK, which places a group of high school students and their families at the center of the show. In the show the students deal with their self-development, discovering their identity as well as their sexuality. Queerness plays a key role in the show since many characters identity as queer and they spend a great amount of time learning about themselves and who they are. Another key aspect of the show is sex education, and how the sex education needs to be reformed in order to make all students feel included and their questions answered in class. I believe that the show does a really good job of presenting the struggle many teenagers and high school students face as they try to understand their identity and sexuality and how hard and nerve racking that can be, especially when you take into account how society is still not fully inclusive. Even though the show talks about the social struggles of queerness, it portrays queerness as so natural and normal that it is easy to imagine that it helps a lot of people in the queer community to find comfort and confidence from the show. Especially when focusing on the aspects of the show portraying sex education as something really important and natural, we learn how diverse sex is and how our society needs to expand its focus from a heterosexual sex education. The show creates awareness for queerness especially in regard to sex.
In Jones’ poem “History, According to Boy” it can be observed how the lack of diverse sex education and societal acceptance of queer individuals has caused Boy to internalize his feelings that deviate from the norm. Boy is seen among his peers, especially the other boys, as a social outcast but he is unable to live as his true self (Jones 89). He notes the way his parents hold each other in their sleep and craves the touch of a loved one, but notes the way his expression of joy hurts his approval of his father, and later, his reaction to a gay porn magazine (Jones 92). These reactions are great example why queer people do not feel included in society and feel like something is wrong with them and their sexuality. As their sexuality is not being acknowledged and obviously not included in America’s sex education, they feel left out and misplaced. The US needs a nationwide inclusive sex education system to ensure diversity and a save learning space for queer people.
3 thoughts on “The US in need of a sex education reform”
I think that this analysis makes a lot of sense. I completely agree that sex education needs to be reformed in the United States because it is so heavy on heterosexual sex education and the idea that sex is bad. In my psychology class, we talked about the sex education system and we talked about how the sex education system in place very much focuses on the male’s pleasure and completely disregards the female’s pleasure. But, we also talked about how the sex education system pushes a very abstinence heavy commentary in regard to sex. I’ve never seen the show, but I like the idea of queerness being normalized instead of rampant homophobia being prevalent.
I definitely agree that the sex education system within the United States needs to be greatly improved, and altered so that there is more education surrounding sex within LGBTQ communities and removing the level of shame and stigma associated with it. I think the connection between improving the sex education system within the U.S., in relation to Jones’ poem, demonstrates the significance of Jones’ poetry in that it speaks to real themes and struggles, even if it may serve as a form of fiction. Furthermore, his poem can serve as a call to action to provide greater visibility to the LGBTQ community and normalizing different sexualities, so that there don’t have to be more “Boys” who are isolated for expressing who they are.
I totally agree that Sex Education in the U.S should be reformed, but I would lean on the physical health aspect rather than just gender, simply due to the fact that Sex Education in U.S schools is poorly presented. Students not knowing about the dangerous consequences regarding the safety around sex (diseases, pregnancy, etc.) is something worth giving a shit about. I could be wrong on this part, but I think that what you are arguing has more to do with gender and how gender connects to sexuality, rather than just sex. Sex education as it is nowadays is using the standard scientific information surrounding genetelias-something that humans are biologically born with and I honestly see no problems using scientific information. Helping students to be able to understand and be aware of the gender spectrum should be what the goal is, but this should be a different topic from Sex Education because, in my opinion, gender plays around the mental part more than the physical itself. Sure you can decide to be whatever you wanna be, but the decision is a mental subject, and the physical aspect of your body will remain the same regardless unless you decided to change your biological body as well (which is also a decision you get to mentally think and take).
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