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Sex education in the '70s

Posted by Ryan Morgan on November 04, 2013 at 9:46 AM
By: John M. Dantzler An organization that I support asked for video testimonials of experiences with public school sex education in South Carolina. I'm not so well set up for video testimonials, so I figured I'd write it down and give them the link if they're interested. There isn't really that much to say, and that's probably the very point. I appreciate that people not living here think that we're conspicuously backward, bewildered by horseless carriages, metal birds in the sky and that consarned telegraph. But really, as out of step as we are in many ways, what is really alarming is how IN step we are. People talk about their sex education classes in the '50s and '60s being very minimal. Usually the boys and girls would be segregated and each gender would watch an 8 mm film about birds and bees. I am getting on in years and it was a long time ago, but what puzzles me is how little I remember. I think the triumph of public school sex education in South Carolina during the '70s was making sex seem uninteresting. Maybe those abstinence-only advocates should take note. All I remember for sure was that there was a class called Health that was given as a part of gym class during 6th grade, taught by Coach. Coach had gone to State and then washed out with the Minnesota Vikings; meaning no disrespect in any way, I don't think Coach took his formal education too seriously until after the NFL dream evaporated. I don't remember any teaching at all. Forty years along, that doesn't mean that it didn't happen. But I remember Coach teasing Russell and Joel about their braces. In other words, my memory still works; if the classes had had much substance, presumably something would have been retained. I do remember that there was a Health textbook. Probably we had reading for homework and quizzes in place of actual teaching. I'm pretty sure we did the gender-segregated 8 mm movie thing as well. I don't recall taking anything away from that, either. Short answer then is that public school sex education in the '70s was very, very minimal. It's a miracle in fact that I ever did learn anything about sex-- oh wait, I didn't.:) This blog was originally published on Writing when the cats lets me.

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