Let’s talk about sex… education classes. Just like actual sex, they can be uncomfortable, uninformative and quite unsatisfactory, but it sure beats talking to your parents about sex, right? John Oliver, the host of HBO’s comic news show Last Week Tonight recently covered the ridiculous inconsistencies and anti-gay attitudes in American sex education classes — turns out talking with the folks might’ve been a better choice after all.
In his program Oliver says out that (as of January 1, 2015) only 22 states require sex education in schools and only 13 of those 22 require schools to give accurate medical information. Moreover, homosexuality is not often discussed in sex education. Just 12 of the 22 states requiring sex education discuss sexual orientation and three of those states impart only negative views on sexual orientation.
Basically, LGBT youth in those three schools are being told it’s wrong to be who they are, and Oliver adds that LGBT students asking questions about being LGBT are left unheard or shrugged off.
Not only is homosexuality a taboo subject in current sex education but the issue of consent gets a wildly ridiculous treatment as well. Oliver’s report includes clips from multiple sex education videos that don’t give a clear view of what consent is. In one video, a girl has to say no three times for her boyfriend to understand that “no means no,” but the video makes the girl look as if she is in the wrong for not being assertive enough the first two times she said no. In another sexist clip, Oliver shows examples of women being compared to old shoes, tape that loses its stick and sex crazed harlots dressed in prostitute chic.
— John Oliver (@iamjohnoliver) August 10, 2015
As a much better alternative, Oliver created his own sex education video with help from Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally and other celebrities. In their sex education video they don’t shame those for not choosing abstinence and they discuss when no really means no (hint: it always does).
Such a video with people of different race, gender and sexual orientation is exactly what needs to be used in classrooms across the U.S. because that represents how classrooms look. The current state of sex education could damage any student, especially if the information given is inaccurate, abstinence is presented the only option and women are portrayed as emotional, bleeding, sex-crazed maniacs who must say no multiple times before someone actually listens to them.
For some students, school may be the only place they can feel comfortable discussing sex, so why shun and shame them when the alternative is to help and teach them.
Watch John Oliver discuss sex education below:
(featured image via The Girl Next Door)