Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you think that sex ed in middle school and high school should be a co-ed class?

Asked by Dutchess_III (41609points) 3 weeks ago

Inspired by a discussion on a different thread.

I don’t think it should be. The girls get harassed by the boys quite enough without pouring gasoline on the fire.

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71 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Harassment during (or out of) class should not be tolerated. We had co-ed sex ed and it worked out fine AFAIK. Potentially even better and valuable to approach the topic as one that’s not sex-segregated, I think. We did have a couple of open question sessions which were segregated, though, which was also probably good.

zenvelo's avatar

If Sex Ed were properly taught, then it would benefit from being co-ed.

The mechanics of hetero intercourse takes about fifteen minuted, and most kids get it right away. What isn’t taught is how to enjoy sex, and how best to make your partner enjoy sex. Also not taught is the reality of consent, and how to talk to a partner about sex.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You know, a female’s period is part of her sex life. Would you be comfortable discussing that kind of thing with the girls?
Would you be comfortable discussing blue balls in front of a class full of girls? Or wet dreams?

ragingloli's avatar

Of course it should be. That the alternative is even being discussed as a valid option, is completely asinine to me.
And none of the pupils is discussing blue balls or wet dreams during class. That is not what sex education is.
You are being taught the cold, hard facts of biology and the overall mechanics.
Bloody puritans.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, it is Raggy. Are you saying they are not to ask questions? If that’s all they need to know, why not just had them a 3 page pamphlet. Why do we have a “class” at all?
I learned the cold, hard facts of biology and overall mechanics when I was 5 and I asked Mom where babies come from. Took less than 5 minutes, if even that. I had a completely different view point when I was 14 than I had at 5. There would be questions I had that I wouldn’t want to ask in front of boys. “Can you get pregnant when you’re on your period?” My male biology teacher got red in the face when I asked it.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III There isn’t anything wrong with discussing a girl’s first period, because it is going to happen, and if done properly is not a big traumatizing event. Making it all scary and girls only and to be embarrassed about just gives it negative energy and stigma.

I had to have a short conversation with my daughter when she was 12, talked to my girlfriend at the time about it, talked to the doctor too. They both said to just let her know where supplies were stored, and to let me know if she had nay questions or wanted to talk to anyone.

rebbel's avatar

I think sex-ed should definitely be co-ed.
It’s weird to me to have separated girls and boys classes for it, since it’s about the union of both sexes (or of course same sex union, but the majority is male-female).
The earlier the better.
And please not only technicalities.
First and foremost talk about love, tenderness, compassion, communication, lust.

I so wished my parents and the schools I attended had done exactly that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It would be mortifying to talk about my period in front of boys. It would be mortifying to talk about my vagina in front of boys.

anniereborn's avatar

I have no idea what sex education is like these days. When I was in junior high we had a co-ed class. I don’t remember anything feeling too weird. But if I had any very personal questions regarding my period or vagina, i’d ask my mom or older sisters.

Zaku's avatar

@zenvelo Our sex ed class actually did have an exercise or two about talking to your partner about sex. e.g. A girl student and a boy student were asked to roleplay being an adult married couple, and one of them wants to suggest/inquire about interest in sexual activity. Then the students share what it was like to be in that situation, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess, it, as many of you are saying, it’s a straight biology thing, mechanics why don’t they call it “Human reproduction”?

How did that sit with you @Zaku?

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Were you mortified to discuss it with a boyfriend? With a husband? The whole point is to take the shame and mortification out of an otherwise healthy part of being a grown up.

Sex ed should also have a co-ed discussion on healthy masturbation.

janbb's avatar

I think it should be co-ed but there should be some discussion periods (pun intended) that are separated by sex so that more inhibited students might be encouraged to talk. But that also raises the question of non-binary identifying students and how those issues should be discussed.

Zaku's avatar

@Dutchess_III It sat with me just fine. I was called on to play a husband trying to figure out how to suggest sex to the girl playing my wife, who was roleplaying watching TV or something. I found it a little more difficult than I thought I might in practice. I found it interesting and valuable… probably would have been good to do a lot more of that sort of roleplaying. And I think it was valuable for people to watch, and to have adults there to comment and prompt questions etc.

Oh and I would say that my feeling is it had the opposite effect to the one you were concerned about, because it gave the class community a shared safe adult-guided experience of the subject. It also made it clear that it was ok to talk about the subject with teachers at the school. And it established some cultural guidelines, answered many questions, reduced panic from unfamiliarity, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No I had no problem talking about it with a boyfriend and certainly not with my husband.
I’m talking about public discussions. God. At that age I couldn’t even say the word “bra.” Being a self conscious 13, 14 year old is not the same as being a mature, sexually savvy grown woman.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The classes should be co-ed. Life is co-ed. For the majority of the population, sex is co-ed.

What you’re really dealing with in this question is puritanical attitudes about sexuality.

I would also like to see healthy discussions of same-sex relationships, too. It would also be a good idea to include discussions about gender and gender identity.

Demosthenes's avatar

@janbb That is how it was for me. Sex Ed was mostly taught to the entire, co-ed class, but we were then divided by gender and given opportunities to ask gender-specific questions. I see nothing wrong with doing so, but I don’t see it as essential. One particularly memorable moment was when we were given the chance to ask anonymous questions on slips of paper. I found that erased the embarrassment of asking certain questions.

@Hawaii_Jake I would like to see discussion of homosexuality as well. Even in the liberal Bay Area where I grew up, homosexuality was never mentioned in Sex Ed. I would’ve felt a lot less isolated if it had just gotten a mention. I’m sure if someone had asked a question about it, it would’ve been answered, but from what I can remember, no one ever did (and I was certainly too shy to do so).

SergeantQueen's avatar

Mine weren’t co-ed

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Some kids really need those courses because their parents won’t discuss it with them.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Or the parents aren’t going to teach it properly.

glass_of_milk's avatar

Parents never would…

Dutchess_lll's avatar

After I grew up and looked back on my Mom’s frank and unembarrased answer to my question when I was 5, I am impressed with her. She had some funny hang ups about things, and I think she was less than thrilled with her sexual experiences. But she was raised on a farm and barn yard sex was an every day fact of life. No mystery there.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Dad, on the other hand…I saw the word “intercourse” in a Playboy magazine. I asked Dad what it meant.
He got all dreamy eyed and said it was a very, very, very special act between a husband a wife and I’d understand when I grew up. That was it.

gorillapaws's avatar

The big thing that I would worry about with co-ed sex ed class is that certain questions that should be asked and answered with good factual science-based info won’t be asked due to embarrassment. If there was a way to ask the questions anonymously, that could work. I also see value in role playing workshops with scripts, where males and females work through situations like date rape, saying no firmly/clearly, role playing how to ask your partner about using a condom, or having a conversation about STDs with your partner.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@gorillapaws My school had the anon questions. It wasn’t co-ed, but if anything was too embarrassing to ask, we could put a question in a box

@gorillapaws Teaching about rape in highschool needs to be REQUIRED. and I feel so strongly about this. I was NEVER told what to do if I was assaulted, or how it even happens. I don’t even remember rape being a term that was really brought up.
They need to (for BOTH genders) talk about…
what it is: That it is more than just a stranger or a spiked drink, it can be your lover who you’ve previously consented to before. It can be a family member, someone you trust.
How to report and WHEN to report: Who to talk to, and that it should be done as soon as possible. They should not make it seem like it’s shitty if they don’t decide to report, because not everyone wants to and honestly, that’s okay. I do not believe in forcing people to come forward.
What the process will sort of be like: For example, how a rape kit is performed, and a little of how the police may do things, but that might be better for a guest speaker if possible. hot the police do things varies case-to-case..

When I reported, I was scared as all hell the police would tell me I was being stupid because he was my boyfriend. That needs to be empathized, it can be someone you are in a relationship with, or someone you trust

I am so passionate about this, because that is such a sensitive and very REAL topic, that it needs to be taught. The process of reporting and/or dealing with it is so fucking horrible. It’s worse when you have ZERO idea what to expect, or if you think you are exaggerating it.

Obviously, it should be taught very carefully and by someone comfortable enough to give that information.

I’ll stop with my rant now. I really think it should be taught and that saying no should also be taught, like how they taught us how to say no to drugs.

That’s a very important thing you brought up @gorillapaws. Thank you.

Yellowdog's avatar

When I was in fifth grade, the girls had a one-day class where the boys weren’t allowed and the menstrual cycle was discussed.

Regular sex education was taught in Health class in seventh and eighth grade and was co-ed

By ninth grade, a special session in Physical Education, which was single sex, was taught.

There was nothing about the co-ed classes that was odd or uncomfortable

Dutchess_lll's avatar

For you it wasn’t uncomfortable.

kritiper's avatar

All sex-ed should be taught in middle school and there should be no co-ed middle schools.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

What @kritiper? Could you be more specific?

kritiper's avatar

In middle school, boys learn better when girls aren’t around and vise-versa. So there should be middle schools for just boys and middle schools for just girls.
Sex Ed. should be taught in middle school since kids are talking about that stuff then and need to know about it before high school.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@YellowdogWhen I was in fifth grade, the girls had a one-day class where the boys weren’t allowed and the menstrual cycle was discussed.” One whole DAY? Jebus. It should take, maybe, half an hour, to discuss the mechanics of sex and the menstrual cycle, and that’s allowing for questions! It’s not rocket science.

I agree with you @kritiper, to an extent. Girls giggled about boys, but we weren’t thinking of sex. We were thinking about love. But I agree. It needs to be taught in middle school.
Now, in high school most of us were actually sexually active and we needed a refresher course because we sure as hell had questions now that we didn’t have in middle school.

kritiper's avatar

I learned all I really needed to know from my male friends. Getting a heads up about where babies comes from helped some, but what I really REALLY wanted to know back then was how to get the girls into bed???

gorillapaws's avatar

@kritiper ”...but what I really REALLY wanted to know back then was how to get the girls into bed???”

A: Cook them delicious food

raum's avatar

Filet.
Sauté.
Crudité.
Flambé.
Cassoulet.

Bom chicka wow wow.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@gorillapawsCook them delicious food” um. No.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Dutchess_lll You’d be surprised.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I guess I just wasn’t really into food. I was into personality. And I never slept with a guy in the heat of a passionate moment, either. It was planned out, and I got on birth control before we ever had sex.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Dutchess_III That’s cool. Whatever makes you happy. Also in your defense, you’ve never had my Raspberry Chicken (mine looks different than the pic). It sounds weird, but women have always loved it.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Dutch. With all due respect, your situations, were embarrassing. I get that. But. There is plenty of embarrassing information about a males physiology, that could garner embarrassment.
Imagine. The bell rings. It’s time to stand up and walk out of class. But. You have a raging boner. I had to tuck it, into my waistband/belt, before I could even get up from my desk. So. You have a painful, embarrassing moment, where you have to walk away/down the halls, with your penis in a crowd of your peers…
You have to nonchalantly, tuck it in, or everyone will notice….
Both genders, have to battle their hormones, during the day.
And, it could slip out at anytime. Making it obvious that you have an erection. You hold books, in front of it. You try to get it to go away. But. It’s a flag pole. You HAVE to get up, and walk around with this condition…

Could YOU, find a way to cover up your natural “problem,” between classes? It’s definitely difficult, and embarrassing.

What about GYM classes? I’d leave those classes, completely unable to hide it…

Sexuality, is impossible to hide,when you have no shirt. So. You leave GYM classes, rock hard, and no way to really cover it….
When shirtless, it’s impossible to hide. If you tuck it, the head of your penis, is poking above your short linings. So. You walk out,of obviously hard, or, with the tip of your penis showing…As you have no shirt, to hide it…

In my teenage years, it wouldn’t go down. It was SUPER embarrassing. BOTH genders, couldn’t really hide, what was going on…

I couldn’t watch the girls, and not get aroused. That’s natural. To me. Looking back. I couldn’t help it…

Such things, were inevitable.

All from middle school, through high school.

You are NOT seeing the flipped script…

Dutchess_III's avatar

And you would be fine with discussing things like that with girls in the room?

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well. It’s an inevitable thing.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Would you be fine discussing those kinds of things with giggling girls?

MrGrimm888's avatar

As a teacher, or fellow student?

As a teacher, I’d be nervous, at first. Then, after a few times, I’d get used to it.

I took psychology, in college. In my very first class, the female teacher compared human brainwaves, to human orgasms…
The gender’s brainwaves, are remarkably similar to how each gender experiences sex.
When I left that first class, I thought it was odd to open with that strategy. Going straight into sex… Retrospectively, I see the brilliance in such a thing. We were 18–19 year olds, going into a class we thought would be boring. The professor, grabbed onto something interesting, to our age group, and caught us all in the first class. She helped me, and I assume others, get interested in the subject. Sexuality, is tied closely with a lot of human behavior. Even if it’s subconscious…

The ways each gender behave, often has a direct correlation, with sex/reproduction. Our hormones, are “designed” to make us act, in certain ways that have ties to reproduction.

It’s an important part of understanding why people act as they do, according to their respective hormones.

Men. They are aggressive, and even violent. Why? Because they are instinctively driven to be the alpha male. Which attracts females, in almost every species. As the female, wants to mate with the strongest/best mate’s DNA. To ensure that her genes, will get passed on. So. Testosterone, makes us behave the way we do.

Females. They spend a lot of time trying to make themselves, as attractive as possible. Makeup, hair, nails, etc, are things they focus on. Talking shit, about other females. It’s all conscious, or subconscious ways to make themselves more attractive to the more powerful males. To get a mate, with strong DNA. Increasing the chances of their own DNA, profiting from the pairing.

This explains many of the behaviors, of both genders…

Sexual education, is essentially human education…

Teaching human beings, the reasons why we behave, the way we do is invaluable in understanding each other…

The more we understand each other, the better we can navigate through coexistence…

Dutchess_III's avatar

As a student. As a pubescent student. Would you be comfortable with discussing your hardons in a room that had a bunch of giggling girls in it? Girls who were certain to bust out giggling (from discomfort) every time you said “Hard on.”

ragingloli's avatar

Then do not bring it up. That is your choice as a pupil.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But that isn’t fair, either. If a kid has questions he should feel free to ask them in some way.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I’m not a “normal” person. I would be reluctant , but secure, in asking questions. Girls giggle, and talk shit, regardless of the situation…That’s their way.

If you ignore that, and achieve higher learning, you’re going in the right direction. Why Do females, act The way they do? ..
It’s hormonal. Just like why males act…

If you look at the scientific areas. You can see clear differences, and why they exist. Most behavior, has a tie, to sexual mindsets. Conscious, or subconscious.

A kid, should be allowed to ask ANY questions. Then, it’s up to whoever is asked the question, as to their respective response.

An educator, in any right, should answer the question, or pass it to another for the answer.

Yellowdog's avatar

The good thing about having a co-ed class is, the “models” used to demonstrate anatomical differences could volunteer right from the classroom. If no one volunteered, someone might be called on to stand before the class.

In seventh grade, no girl ever saw what a boy’s parts looked like, or vise versa. So, that’s one of the benefits of having both sexes in the same class.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

What makes you think that no 7th grade girl had ever seen male parts? Many of us had brothers. I didn’t but I saw My Dad peeling a couple of times. And, of course, some girls are sexually molested.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@Yellowdogthe “models” used to demonstrate anatomical differences could volunteer right from the classroom. If no one volunteered, someone might be called on to stand before the class.”

That sounds illegal.

Yellowdog's avatar

I never liked being the class model, because all the girls would giggle at me It also causes a guy to have a ‘boner’ to be the class model. Which is embarrassing.

Yes, its illegal now. There is no way they could get away with that nowadays. But this was the late 1970s.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I was In school in the 70s and I call BS. We had a lot of stuff happen to us that would be illegal today, but no way in hell were living, naked, human models used in sex ed.

Yellowdog's avatar

No, I don’t have a Bachelor of Science degree in that field. But thanks for assuming it.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I called bull shit. You’re lying. Which, last I heard, is a sin.

Yellowdog's avatar

I always wondered what a BS degree was

SergeantQueen's avatar

@Yellowdog Yeah, I don’t believe that

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Well @Yellowdog, if you use “BS” on a resume it stands for “Bachelor of Science.” Which I have, in Education.
If you see “BS” on a social networking site it means “Bull Shit.”

MrGrimm888's avatar

I would add, that simply seeing a body part, teaches you nothing. We can see people’s heads, hands, knees etc. But, does not mean that you can understand physiology…
I saw lots of girls vaginas, when I was a little boy. The old “show me yours, and I will show you mine” thing. It taught me nothing, really. I wanted to see the girls parts, and apparently, they wanted to see mine. But, it didn’t teach us anything.

You can look at a car. But, that doesn’t teach you how/why it’s parts make it work.

Pictures, that show the internal anatomy, are useful. A live model, wouldn’t be of any educational value.

Yellowdog's avatar

We had to learn the parts, what they are, their function, identify them. Sex education in seventh grade was a part of health class.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

It was never a part of my sex education. He’ll I couldn’t even find a clitoris in an encyclopedia!

SergeantQueen's avatar

We had Diagrams.
@Yellowdog Did not have models

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Of course we didn’t have living models from the classroom. I think that was a bit of male fantasizing.
Also, I have heard how horribly embarassed the guys were about their unruly penises. I, for one, never noticed.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Guys are just as insecure during puberty as women.
Puberty is torture

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I know. It’s crucifying. In 7th grade art we had 4 of us at a table. 2 girls, 2 boys. One of the boys accused me of “Stuffing.” He said “No girl can be that skinny and have such big boobs.”
It enraged me. I cried tears of rage and frustration. I couldn’t help the way I looked.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Dutch. I know you had a lot of bad experiences, with males. I’m terribly sorry for that…

But. We aren’t all savages. We are, however, slaves to our hormones. Some, deal with it better than others.

As far as self control….

Dutchess_III's avatar

I never said you ALL are.

MrGrimm888's avatar

You are right. But. I understand your frustration.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was just an example of why puberty is so brutal, for all kids. Guys get all embarrassed because they can’t control their penises, but to be honest, I never noticed. No girls ever said they noticed, either.

Jonsblond's avatar

I’ll bite.

I have a trans son. He has a vagina. He has a trans girlfriend. She has a penis. Co-Ed is a necessity these days. The chance of having a trans student involved in the discussion is high.

If you put a trans male in with other males her won’t learn about the reproductive organs he has. Same goes for the trans females.

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