Parents and schools are coming under increasing pressure to educate young people (from as young as 5 years old) in sexual matters. In part this has arisen because of the personal nature of the topic. Many parents feel ill-equipped to discuss sex with their children. But it is also a natural reaction to the explosion of sexual content (much of it unrealistic and misleading) that is now available on the internet.
The young tend to be the most sexually active. So even though adults may have decades of sexual experience, they are so intimidated or impressed by the confidence of the younger generation that they assume that young people know more about sex than they do. Unfortunately, but very naturally, young people have little interest in the experience of their elders.
Most adults would probably agree on the need to educate children about sex. But it is much more difficult to obtain consensus on what children should be told. The research findings have been so contentious that they are simply ignored. So adults themselves rely on informal sources, such as magazine articles, which are written by ‘sex experts’: people who are willing to talk about sex rather those with any particular expertise.
Why are adults so universally embarrassed about sex?
One reason is that we are all so different to each other that it is almost impossible for one person to relate to another person’s experiences. One example is the gap between the sexes. A woman interprets sex as a lovemaking act, where a man makes love to her as a demonstration of his commitment to her. Most men interpret sex as an erotic act where they pleasure their lover in return for enjoying their own sexual release.
Men relate to sex through nudity, fantasy and explicit genital stimulation. Women are often embarrassed and even disgusted by these aspects of sex. Women are typically insulted and threatened by the sex industry. Women are not aroused by seeing sexual activity portrayed in the genital terms that men need to achieve arousal and orgasm.
Many women today are implicitly pressured by the way women’s sexuality is misrepresented in the media. Some women assume that sexual activity should naturally compel them to produce all the same cries of ecstasy, verbal come-ons and proactive engagement that porn actresses use as a male turn-on. Men find pornography so appealing that they cannot easily acknowledge that real women’s sexuality might be any different.
Gay men and women cannot engage in intercourse. So their lovemaking involves more explicit genital stimulation, which many people (especially women) consider immoral or disgusting in some way. Many women are not willing to engage in explicit genital stimulation and men accept that intercourse is the only option. Heterosexual society hide behinds the respectability of intercourse, which can be justified on reproductive grounds.
Most women do not find casual sex as emotionally rewarding as many men do. Women typically look for emotional (rather than erotic) rewards from their relationships. Girls deserve a rational account of men’s emotional needs including an understanding of men’s sex drive to ejaculate through intercourse. Men’s behaviours cannot be explained in terms of the romance that women enjoy. It’s equally impossible to explain the concept of consent without being honest about the different rewards men and women obtain from sex.
Pornography leads boys to assume that women are amenable to intercourse whenever a man has an erection. Teenage boys need to understand that penetrative sex involves responsibilities and a need to respect a lover. Most girls hope for an emotional connection before they are willing to have sex. Boys deserve a rational account of women’s emotional needs including an understanding of women’s desire for family and companionship. Women’s behaviours cannot be explained in terms of the eroticism that men enjoy.
‘Learn About Sexuality’ presents the facts and reasoning that explain the sexual behaviours exhibited by different individuals. This site provides parents, teachers and children with the appropriate material to build an understanding of some of the sexual issues that may arise throughout our lives.
No one seems to appreciate the need to differentiate between sex education and erotic fiction. Evidence and proof may be tedious issues but they are critical to any scientific understanding of a subject. There are no research findings that indicate that women orgasm through intercourse or any other means with a lover. The research indicates that female orgasm is primarily associated with a woman masturbating alone. The belief that a woman should orgasm with a lover is simply an assumption. And it’s wrong!
… the pre-adolescent boy’s capacities for specifically sexual responses develop rapidly as he nears adolescence. This is not matched by any similar rise in the sexual capacities of the female at the time of adolescence. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)