I recorded this earlier in the week and finally got round to watching it at 2am this morning. It was disturbing.
I’m not entirely sure of my footing here, but is it normal for kids of 12-15 – that’s like school years 8 to 11 – to not understand the basics of sex? Do they really need to resort to porn to “know what to do” as they put it? There were kids of 15 on there (That’s year 11) who didn’t know how to correctly use a condom until sex ed at school. I read Catch-22 when I was 12, and I still reckon that the scenes in that are more graphic than any porno I’ve ever seen – and I certainly wasn’t confused. Am I the only person in the country who actually didn’t learn anything from sex ed?
Now, I may be the exception here, but I never had sex ed in primary school, and yet I remember finding a (used) condom at primary school, and knowing about it and how it had been used. I know I wasn’t in year 6 at the time, so the oldest I could have been was 10. And I also remember having an in-depth conversation about tampons vs sanitary towels at a similar age. And so I found it surprising that these GCSE-age pupils didn’t understand the BASICS. There was one lad on there who thought that having sex took an hour and a half at least…but maybe he’s going to grow into the world’s greatest lover.
But then, to be honest, I don’t remember when or where I leant this stuff, I can’t imagine my parents explaining it to me, maybe it was just from my prolific reading.
It also surprised me that 60-odd per cent of 12-15 year old lads claim to have watched porn with their friends. I find the very idea of this repulsive, and yet I’m statistically in the minority. And to think that 70-odd percent of this age group thought that their parents didn’t know they looked at porn surprised me further. It’s not something I would ever have discussed with my parents (the very thought of discussing anything like that with my parents makes me feel awkward – I cringed when one of the dads in the programme bought his son a porn mag for his 13th birthday), and I’d never go and openly display porn anywhere, but I never doubted that my parents knew I looked at it. I would have thought (as did the majority of the parents in the programme) that it was natural and usual for teenage lads to be “curious” in that way.
Frankly, the discoveries I have made about sex ed in this country over the last week have really surprised me – I find the teenage pregnancy figures even more startling now, as it seems that the majority of kids are lucky if they know where to put it to have any chance of getting pregnant.
So my question is this…was I just an over-informed geeky weirdo of a primary school child (not entirely unlikely), or were the kids in that programme just stupid?
Originally posted on The LBSC