Where’s the relationships in Sex Education?

"Why aren't we taught about love too?"


Rachel, 17, is studying for her A-Levels. She's obsessed with The Mighty Boosh and loves meeting new people and hanging out with friends.

We are bombarded with adverts explaining to us that if we want respect, we must use a condom. This is all well and good, but perhaps we might be even more worthy of respect if we didn’t go around having sex with people we barely know in the first place.

When I was in Year 11 the school nurse did a lesson on contraception and STIs. She said: “Now guys, I should warn you that in Nottingham there’s a lot of syphilis, so be careful! Ha ha.” Were we supposed to find this funny? It’s not like it’s coming after us. If we want to go around having casual, unprotected sex then, yes, we may catch syphilis. But there seems to be something missing in this message. There’s no suggestion with sex education that maybe it would be better to wait until you’re with someone you love, or at least really like, to have sex. The message I’m getting is: wait until you’re 16 but then you’re free to go around shagging whoever you like, as long as you use a condom.

One of my friends is planning to wait until she’s married to have sex. She’s a Christian and believes that sex was created for marriage; she has no intention of sleeping with anyone for a long time. While this may be a very traditional and old fashioned idea, you would think that a school nurse (who’s trying to stop us catching STIs) would support her in this. However when my friend explained that she didn’t see that there was any reason for her to take condoms to a party just in case the school nurse said: “Well, that’s a nice idea, but a bit unrealistic really. It’s much better for you to just carry condoms, better safe than sorry!” When did it become ridiculous to think that sex and love should go together?

Another thing that bugs me is that you can get the morning after pill before actually having sex. Apparently the Government is well aware that people are going to have casual sex so they’d rather make this pill readily available to try to stop people getting pregnant. I really can’t see how having this pill available so easily is going to discourage anyone from having unprotected sex. If two people are in a situation where they want to have sex but don’t have a condom, there’s less chance they’re going to say: “Damn, maybe another time.” and more chance a girl will say: “Screw it, I’ll just take the pill tomorrow.” To me this seems absolutely ridiculous. Sending out the message that we shouldn’t be having unprotected sex, because of pregnancy and STIs, while also giving out a pill which only eliminates the risk of getting pregnant seems to be contradictory.

Of course it’s up to individuals to decide what they believe about sex, but I’ve seen nothing within advertising or sex-education to suggest that having sex with someone you really trust and care about might actually be a nice idea.


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Updated on 29-Sep-2015