Learning about sex is as important as introducing new and much-needed civil rights!
While I am an all-out liberal, I’m also a very realistic person, which means that while I argue in favour of abortion and believe that the morning after-pill should be available over the counter – because it’s not abortifacient!! – I also believe that the most important step in all of this is educating the upcoming generation.
Why? Because having morning after-pills and HIV-kits to be used at home and advocating for abortion are useless if people don’t have a good understanding of reproduction and sexually transmitted infections. After all, living responsibly is not possible without having the knowledge to do so.
So, how could sex ed in schools help us?
Prevention of STIs: Let’s state the obvious: teaching abstinence until marriage is dumb. From the dawn of time, humans have been having sex before and after marriage and it won’t stop in 2017… Or ever, for that matter! This is a fact which you can either choose to work against or with. Now, teaching people about being protected and the repercussions of unsafe sex might actually – and this has been proven through statistics – reduce the transmission of STIs.
Prevention of Unintended Pregnancies: People will have sex for pleasure. And people will have sex without wanting to get pregnant every time they do. Getting pregnant is no more the will of God as the children dying of hunger are. Things happen, but we should try to avoid them by teaching children and young adults how to use contraceptives and giving them a Plan B (such as the morning after-pill). After all, this would mean fewer abortions in general.
Promotion of Equal Rights: Why is it that when a girl gets pregnant, some people just say ‘she should have kept her legs closed’? I don’t understand how the guy gets off so lightly. Sex is either a mutual decision or rape. The first scenario makes it both people’s responsibility; the second makes it the attacker’s, whoever that may be. By teaching people how to protect themselves, the meaning of boundaries, the importance of consent, and what to do in case things go awry, you are empowering them.
So, while I am all out in favour of all the developments taking place in the field of civil rights, and while I hope we continue progressing, I think it’s also important that we educate people. Because tools + ignorance = disaster.
What do you think of Evelyn’s argument? Should sex ed be taught in Maltese schools?