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Sex ed is very important. But the kind that is given is not always helpful.
I'm 21 years old and still have not had sex but have played around. Mostly I account that to my religion. Then I found out I'm lesbian. I wanted to wait to have sex with someone I love and who loves me. I have felt tremendous pressure to just have random sex to get it over with and because my friends have already lost their virginity.
I'm a shy girl. My parents never told me about sex. When I was 8 or 9, I found a book in the library and read it. It blew my mind. I actually understood it was talking about sex, eventhough I didn't know what sex was at that time. I was a very smart child. Then I went home and told my parents what I knew. They asked me if I had any questions and I said no because I had no idea what to ask. They didn't tell me anything.
My school showed puberty and sex ed tapes which were not very helpful. I started my period when I was 11 and they didn't show the puberty tape until I was 12 or 13. We had counselors come talk in the class, and all they said was dont do it and tried to scare us with pregnancy, STDS, and of course they said it hurt, and most people got no pleasure from it the first time. They were not helpful at all.
One thing they never told us is how to have sex. I learned from hearing other people talk. And of course I had high school and college anatomy courses that taught how sex works, but it was all from a biological standpoint. I never really knew what went on during sex until I saw a film with nudity and strong sexuality.
School-based sex education is one of the most effective HIV prevention methods. Unfortunately, Dakota's experience of finding it unhelpful is all too common. More about sex education can be found on AVERT's page 'Sex Education That Works'.