Health

Six of the Worst Lessons Still Taught in Sex Ed

In the United States, sexual education programs are seriously lacking. Just 24 states and the District of Columbia require schools to provide sexual education classes to students, according to the Guttmacher Institute. And for those students that do receive sexual health classes, the information they learn isn’t always accurate.

That’s because when sex education is taught, the majority of states mandate that sexual education is abstinence-only, meaning students are taught to wait until marriage to engage in sexual relations and topics like birth control and safe sex are ignored. But some students and parents have found that amid abstinence-only education, teachers are handing out false—and often offensive—information to students.

From shaming girls for their outfits to comparing women to kitchen appliances, here are some of the most egregious sexual health lessons in recent history.

1) Unmarried and Sexually Active? Watch Out!

At Baker Middle School in in Corpus Christi, Texas, students were told “you need to dress abstinent if you want to be treated as abstinent,” and that unmarried women who have sexual relationships are more likely to be raped.

 

 

Mom Mariah Boone informed school trustees of these lessons in January, after her daughter brought home class materials, the Caller Times reports. It’s not surprising these lessons are factually inaccurate, given that the curriculum sites sources like Mademoiselle magazine, according to Boone.

2) Daddy Issues

Why would a girl ever initiate a conversation with a member of the opposite sex? Daddy issues, according to sexual education instructor Shelly Donahue.

"Do you know why girls are so desperate and always text guys first? Two words: Daddy. Left,” Donahue told seniors at Jenks High School in Oklahoma, outraged student Brooklyn Wilson wrote in a Facebook post in March.

Wilson took to Facebook to protest the sexist nature of the speech, noting that Donahue also made some pretty bizarre comparisons, like saying that men are like microwaves, whereas women are more like crockpots. Luckily, the school heard Wilson’s complaints loud and clear. School officials told Revelist that Donahue will not be asked back to Jenks High school.

3) This Is Your Brain On Sex

In March, parents in St. Louis, Missouri raised concerns about a sexual education program, Best Choice. Taught in about 75 schools across the St. Louis metropolitan area, the Christian organization running the program, Thrive, refused to answer questions about its curriculum, leaving some parents wary of just what their kids were being taught about sex, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

And for good reason. The group’s websites features tidbits like, “when you feed your brain sex, drugs, alcohol, or porn you can seriously impede your mental development." Another page states that women can contract STDs through surgical abortions.

fried egg

So far one local school district, Francis Howell, has said that they will stop using the program, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

4) Hitler in Health Class

Our northern neighbors struggle with sex ed, too. For example, tudents at Red Deer Catholic High School in Alberta, Canada were told that people who get abortions have something in common with Adolph Hitler, CBC reports.

Students in grade 10 were shown a short video in April, which begins with a handwritten note reading “abortion, infanticide, and the euthanization of the disabled, elderly or infirm can all be justified. Of course, we've seen this before." Next, the video cuts to the words “Auschwitz,” and states that Hitler exterminated “all the unwanted people.”

While school officials apologized for the controversial content they received from their anti-abortion partner Area Pro-Life, they still intend to bring back the group with a tweaked lesson plan.

5) It’s All On You, Ladies

In September, female students Payson High School in Arizona were forced to miss classes to attend a mandatory sex and relationships seminar. The male students were invited to attend a seminar the following day, but it took place after school and wasn’t compulsory.

Some of female students felt like these rules implied that girls carried the burden of sexual responsibility—a message that was hammered home during the session. The instructor warned the girls not to dress too provocatively “as that could unleash a man's God-given sexual urges,” ABC reports.

6) Plenty of Bed Rest

To avoid contracting an STD, students in Holt, Missouri are taught to hang out in groups and make sure they get enough sleep because “when you’re tired it’s hard to think clearly.” Absent from this list is the fact that condoms are about 98 percent effective in preventing the spread of STDs like HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

“It goes on for several pages about abstinence itself and several more pages specifically about HIV with NO instruction on how to avoid it other than abstinence,” Holt resident Simonie Justine Wilson wrote in a Facebook post. “This is pretty close to actually LYING to the kids in school and even putting them at risk.”