Our society’s obsession with sex, but not sexual health, is clearly seen in the hypersexual advertisements and mass social media. Sex is portrayed in various means from TV commercials, billboards, magazines and newspaper. So, why is it that the sex is used to sell everything from a hamburger to a car, yet there is no space for a dialogue on sexual health? Why is it that as a society we are obsessed with sex yet cannot communicate with our family, friends, partner, or even ourselves about sex?
As a society, we have created taboo around sex and thus made it increasingly difficult to have open discussions about sex. This can be observed in schools, families, and on a individual level. There are many factors to why we are so uncomfortable to talk about sex, one of those reasons are a lack of knowledge. The controversy regarding sex creates an unsafe environment where young adults are deprived of learning accurate medical facts concerning sex, safe sex practices, and lack accessible affordable resources. Many schools nationwide lack adequate sexual health education, and majority of schools do not provide any sexual health education or only provide abstinence-centered education. Sex-Ed classes that only focus on abstinence reinforce the idea that “sex is bad” thus creating a taboo atmosphere around sex which results in a lot secrecy and shame around the subject of sex, even within the partners practicing sex. This taboo culture also results in adolescents’ reluctances to go for help until it is too late in cases of unwanted pregnancy, STDS, or an unhealthy relationship. The lack of adequate or no sex education also disregards the need to educate about consent, and further creates an unsafe environment for young adults to make informed, healthy decisions. It is imperative that consent is a vital segment of teaching sexual health, and that there is a clear understanding of consent among young adults so they are informed on how to ask for consent, how to give consent and how vital both these steps are. The lack of open communication about sex also prevents the access of resources like STD tests, birth control, counseling, and much more that is imperative to sexual health. The access to reproductive and sexual health is essential in the grand scheme of health and needs to be addressed. Sex is not only a token used to benefit the advertising industries but needs to be a topic that’s accurately taught in our schools, homes, and openly discussed.
There needs to be a transition from the obsession of sex to actually talking about sex in a positive, healthy manner.