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Lecture 17

Psychology 2075 Lecture 17: Lecture 17 Sexuality Education

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Western University
Psychology 2075
William Fisher

Lecture 17 Sexuality Education Sexuality Education is Polarizing Sexuality Education is Political • Texas diverts $3 million from STI/HIV Prevention to Abstinence Only Programs: Senate Sponsor Declares he Was Virgin until Marriage, Texas Governor Declares He Was Too Sexuality Education is Consequential Sexuality Education is Gendered • Tends to be directed at females more than males A Little Bit of History: Sexuality Education is Not New • Kama Sutra first sex education • Religion: Old Testament – you shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:1-17) • The Devil’s Bible said: though shall commit adultery (forgot the “not”) • When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean (Leviticus) • The law of separate lives (when women had their period married men and women should be apart) • Then Judah said to Onan, Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother o But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother o What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also (Genesis) o Onanish is an ancient word for masturbation – came from this story Religion: New Testament • Professor says that we still argue the same things as these ancient religious testaments Medicine: Sex Education and Medical Authority • Medicine took over from religion, medicine took over from god Medicine and Boys: Ten Sex Talks for Boys (over age 10) st nd • 1 and 2 lectures contain an account of autonomy • next 3 are about terrible sexual diseases • 6 is about masturbation, and it is unnecessary th th • 7 and 8 are about the protection of life’s temptations and how alcoholic drinks can make you give in to life’s sins Medicine and Girls: Ten Sex Talks for Girls (over age 14) • Masturbation will cause a breakdown of the nervous system and will send you to an early grave • Excessive normal even though legitimate sexual intercourse will do the same • Says that sex needs to be contained and suppressed, autonomy and diseases are heavily discussed though (this is very similar to what we learn in elementary school) Boy Scouts Handbook (1911) • “In the body of every boy, who has reached his teens, the Creator of the universe has sown a very important fluid…any habit which a boy has that causes this fluid to be discharged from the body tends to weaken his strength, to make him less able to resist disease, and fastens upon him habits…” Sex Education Fights Venereal Disease: Social Hygiene Movement – World War I • North American sex education was affected by soldiers meeting Europeans • They met European prostitutes and then came back with “love disease” • “Ship of Shame” – Soldiers did not use condoms because the woman was married therefore, they figured she wouldn’t have any diseases • 1934 CBS cancels a radio address by New York Commissioner of Health, because the script includes the word syphilis o there was a very taboo notion at this time, the word sex could not be said • 1914: American Social Hygiene Association – could not call them sex diseases • 1959: American Social Health Association • 2013: American Sexual Health Association Sex Education in Public Schools • Sex education in public schools 1920s to 1940s o Government-sponsored mandatory public school education o Broad enrollment of large numbers of post-pubescent male and female students together • Impetus for sex education in the schools in the 1950s o 1950s: The automobile, allowed for couples to be alone and therefore engage in more sexual acts o MAIN MESSAGE o If you become sexually intimate you will ruin your life o You will have to drop out of school, get a bad job to support the baby and you cannot succeed in life • Impetus for sex education in the schools from ~1960 to the present o Teen pregnancy: researchers thought people were going to populate so much that there wouldn’t be enough space on earth for everyone to live ▪ Statistics were inflated in order to scare students into being abstinent ▪ The only statistic that was true was the fact that America has the highest teen pregnancy rate, they are also one of the only countries that teach abstinence only sex education o HIV/AIDS prevention o Delayed marriage and childbearing o *missing the pleasures and positives of sexual activity Sexuality Education Goals • Suppression of sexual expression – mostly taught in elementary schools • Control of sexual expression • Directions of sexual expression o Moral direction – bible tells us when we can morally engage in sex ▪ Video: Students are taking an abstinence pledge ▪ There is the moral direction of sexuality by avoiding sex in order to not ruin their future o Avoid negative outcomes – don’t have sex in order to avoid diseases or unwanted pregnancies ▪ Directed to behaviorally relevant scripts for avoiding the downside (birth control and protection) o Achieve positive outcomes – very rare ▪ There are underground places where you can go to learn about the positives of sex but it is hard to find and very rare Ideologies of Sexuality Education • Restrictive Ideology  Goals: Suppression and Ignorance (“innocence”) o Primary assertion ▪ There is no place for sex education in the school o Primary worry ▪ Talking about sex will excite imagination and provoke sexual behavior o Primary current activity ▪ Dictating content of sex education o Primary focus ▪ Suppression ▪ Control ▪ Moral direction ▪ Avoid negative outcomes • Opponents formerly argued that schools had no role in sexuality education, and that sexuality education was the sole province of parents and religious groups. The new strategy is for opponents of comprehensive sexuality education to define themselves as being in favor of sexuality education so long as the curriculum emphasizes abstinence only or the “just say no” approach.” o United states in particular has followed this approach William Jefferson Clinton’s 1996 Welfare Reform Act: $50 Million Annual Funding for Abstinence-only Sexuality Education • Abstinence Only o “A mutually monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity.” o “Sexual activity outside the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects.” Secular Restrictive Sex Education in Canada • “Central to teaching about human sexuality is the moral and social value of abstinence from sexual intercourse as an ideal practice for unmarried persons” o Canada’s sex education can be just as restrictive as the US system • “Teachers have a responsibility to promote adolescent sexual abstinence as a primary means of prevenient transmission of HIV” o New Brunswick Department of Education, 1989 o Main idea: you are only healthy if you restrict from sexual activity • “Appreciation of sexual abstinence as both a health and moral value among young people and an understanding of the risks and consequences of adolescent sexual activity.” o Manitoba Department of Education and Training, 1990 Abstinence-Only Education • Article says that abstinence-only sex education contributes to the high teen pregnancy rates in the US Sexist Ideologies in Sexuality Education • Restrictive and sexist ideology in sexuality education. • Suppression and direction of sexual expression particularly in women Sex Education Book for Children: Reproduction and Child Care are Feminized • Reproduction o Gender ratios ▪ 2.7 female: 1.0 male text ▪ 1.5 female: 1.0 male pictures o Anatomical references ▪ Vagina 96% ▪ Penis 87% ▪ Ova 78% ▪ Sperm 78% ▪ Uterus 74% ▪ Testes 70% ▪ Ovaries 57% ▪ Breasts 52% • Female holds/feeds child o 100%/100% • Male holds/feeds child o 50%/9% Sex Education Books for Children: Sexual Initiation and Activity are Masculinized • 85% describe intercourse as male initiated • 50% intercourse pictures male on top • 14% intercourse pictures female on top • 30% of males have erections • 13% of females have clitoris • 9% of females lubricate Ideologies of Sexuality Education • Permissive ideology o Permissive ideology is “sex positive” in its approach o Permissive ideology rejects the notion that sexual ignorance is a good thing o Permissive ideology provides comprehensive sex information o Permissive ideology asserts that It is up to individuals to decide what to do with their sexuality • It is highly judgmental by making the judgement that most judgements are wrong and unreasonable WHO • “Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful
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