What’s more unappealing to you? Scaring people away from sex by showing them graphic pictures of STI-ridden genitals OR preaching abstinence and ignoring the topic of sex altogether? Personally, I think both do more harm than good because the approaches are sex negative and very biased towards one perspective.
Dangers of scaring people away from sex with graphic pictures include:
- being scared of having sex because of constant fears of getting STIs
- when about to engage in sex, will be unprepared for safe sex because lack of knowledge on barrier methods
- being shamed when they do catch an STI and not knowing how to get help/support
Dangers of preaching abstinence include:
- If person wants to be abstinent –
- being shamed for reason for abstinence by non-abstinent people
- being shamed for being a non-sexual person
- If person does not want to be abstinent –
- being shamed for wanting to explore own sexuality
- Feeling alone for not sharing abstinent views
- I believe that a truly sex positive sexual health education should cover every aspect of sex in as objective a perspective as possible. What exactly do I mean by this?
Sex positive example 1: Here are ways to have protected sex. *Proceed with demonstrations of barrier methods and birth control methods.* Now, here are pictures of STIs that you can get if you have unprotected sex. *Proceed to show STI-ridden genitals. Explain STI transmission and symptoms/complications of untreated STIs.*
Sex positive example 2: Abstinence is the act of not participating in sexual acts for social, cultural, religious, and/or other personal reasons. This can include abstaining from anal, oral, and vaginal intercourse. The definition will vary because each person who chooses to be abstinent will have different reasons for doing so, and that’s completely okay!
- Sexpert Linda