Whether or not you partake in any form of sexual activity, being educated on it is one of the most important things, especially as young women. Sexuality can play an important part of a women’s life; however, the discussion of sex is often kept hush hush due to the lack of proper education and the stigma surrounding it. When we think about sexual education for women, we often think of those cringe worthy days of our youth when an older woman would sit us down and tell us that the moment, we bleed is the moment we “become a woman”. I have memories of being taught how to discreetly carry around a tampon to avoid embarrassment (which is something no women should NEVER be embarrassed or ashamed about) and basically none on the actual act of sex and the important steps to keep yourself safe and comfortable. Far too many young women receive confusing and conflicting information about relationships and sex and in some areas, sex is barely talked about and abstinence is drilled into the brains of young impressionable women. Being a woman is not limited to just having a period, and women are sexual beings with sexual desires, and it is important they we understand human sexual anatomy, reproductive health, emotional relationships and reproductive rights. The lack of proper sexual education can be extremely harmful and only around 34% of young people around the world can demonstrate accurate knowledge on STD prevention and transmission. Lack of education can also lead to uncomfortable sexual encounters and unwanted pregnancies.
Comprehensive sexual education for young women not only gives them the knowledge to make informed and safe decisions when it comes to sex, it also helps end the stigma around sexuality and gives women the space claim their bodies as their own. Young individuals, especially young women need to learn of the physical, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality and end the cycle of shame that surrounds it. Safe sex is far more than just condoms and it wasn’t until I was about 19 that I learned about all of the different forms of birth control for women. We have gone far too long being ashamed of sex and the conversation must be started in order to end the stigma around women’s sexuality and our sexual health. Sexual education goes far beyond what most of us have been taught and it is time to re-design it. People often mistake educating young women on sex as encouraging sexual behavior and this is completely false and very harmful to the emotional and psychological health of a human being.
Be safe, do what you want, and remember the choice to engage in any form of sexual activity is yours and yours only!