Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Slut: Pt. 2

How Our School System Is Failing Our Youth with False Sexual Education

Take a moment and think about your high school sexual education class. What sort of sex ed was it? Was it medically accurate or based on abstinence? I grew up in the Bible Belt in a small town in the Appalachian Mountains. My sexual education lasted for one week and was taught by a local youth pastor (not even a teacher or anyone with any medical training). He was nice, and half of my class was part of his youth group, but I had a lot of questions that were left unanswered. This was a major problem because I still had no clue about sex and felt like I was being left in the dark. Sure, I knew how babies were made, but I didn't know about STDs, contraception, or even consent. There I was at 14 with no idea what was going on with my own body. I knew I couldn't be the only student that felt this way. 

When I tried to talk to my parents about the problems I had with my school's sex ed program, I was met with a very angry response. "I guess you just haven't learned to stop questioning God," my mother hissed before sending me to my room to read the scriptures and pray for God's forgiveness. The next day, a friend of my mother was sitting in our living room when I got home from school. My parents informed me that I was going to be doing some intensive counseling with her, and assured me it was 100 percent confidential. 

For three days, I was to sit and talk to this person about all of my problems and be coerced into saying things I wasn't completely comfortable with saying to her. She made me talk about sexual fantasies I had and other incredibly personal topics. I felt violated. I was only 15 or 16 at the time and was terrified that other people in the church would find out. My fears wound up being confirmed. About two weeks passed after the counseling ordeal, and it became exceedingly clear that every clergy member knew my dirty secrets. I was even called out in front of the church for having impure thoughts and was ordered to repent for my sins. I was still just a kid and was beyond mortified by this. I wanted to disappear, and at that moment, my faith began to fade away. 

As I stated previously, my sex education was faith-based and was strictly taught abstinence. The youth pastor "teaching" us might as well have just stood there spouting Bible passages and telling us to never have sex before marriage or God will give us AIDS. Oh, wait... he did do that. When asked about contraception, he told us that condoms and birth control had a zero percent effectiveness rate, despite what experts said. He told us that condoms were actually woven and expand when they reach body temperature, rendering them useless. He went on to claim that birth control pills are just placebos marketed to women strictly for profit, and have absolutely no medical benefit. (Remember, this guy was a youth pastor, not a medical professional.) THIS WAS A GIANT PROBLEM!!! Not only was he blatantly lying about these methods, but he was also scaring the mess out of students and making them afraid of their own bodies. How was this even legal? 

Unfortunately, there are still public schools that use this practice of scaring students out of ever having sex. There are even school districts that either require parental permission or won't teach the subject at all. This is doing a major disservice to our youth. Without medically based sexual education as part of our high school curriculum, we could face higher teen pregnancy rates, higher STD rates, and have our future generations suffer for it. Faith-based education of any kind has no part in our public schools. Our own government even stated that there must be a separation of church and state, so why is it that a youth pastor was authorized to teach sex ed at my high school? 

For years, I went on wearing a purity ring and was terrified of even kissing a boy. I was even convinced that herpes simplex (cold sores) could kill you because I was blatantly lied to in order to further the conservative Christian agenda, instead of taught what would be medically accurate and appropriate for high school students. 

By age 17, I found out I was pregnant with my son. My partner at the time was 9 years older than me, but I thought we were in love. I had spent so long convinced that condoms were pointless, so we just used the "pull and pray" method. When I found out, I was absolutely devastated and terrified to tell anyone, especially my parents. 

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Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Slut: Pt. 2
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