This isn't the first time I've told this story, and it won't be the last. But I think it is important to share. The fact is: my sex education was less than lackluster. I learned more about sex on the back of a school bus while listening to older kids talk. Probably not the most reliable source of information.
Let's start with the basics. I'm Jordan and I'm from a pretty rural area of South Carolina: Chesterfield County. From my house, it took about 30 minutes to an hour to get to the closest grocery store, if that helps put it into perspective.
I received sex education in elementary school, but it's not as progressive as it sounds. Actually, we didn't have a proper middle school, and our elementary ran through 6th grade and high school was 7th to 12th.
One day in 6th grade, we were all given a sheet of paper to get our parents to sign. This mysterious paper caused a lot of talk on the playground. Of course we knew what it was about, however, and we all got somewhat excited and giggly. I, on the other hand, had a shutter of terror fill my body, as I knew this might instigate a talk with my mom about sex. But I handled it like any smart 6th grader would.
"Hey, sign this." And then I walked away.
A few weeks later it happened. The boys and girls were split into two groups. I naturally migrated with the girls, but this time I had no choice. Our sex education was about a three-day process. Each time split into groups.
I remember not being able to keep a straight face, and I felt my cheeks turning red as they become hot with embarrassment. So yeah, I was going through puberty but I didn't exactly fit in with my all male peers. I was super uncomfortable. But I survived. Anyway, we learned a lot about the biology of puberty.
"This is what happens to your penis at night," said a teacher while pointing to a animated film.
We got great information about that stuff, I felt like I knew what to expect: I'm going to start needing to wear deodorant (although, I already began), I'm going to start growing hair in places that it hadn't grown before and I'm going to eventually have a sperm cell enter a uterus and have it break into a female's egg. Pretty cool stuff.
But, we missed out on one big thing. EVERYTHING ELSE.
How does the sperm get to the egg? I mean, sure we all knew by then from television, but we didn't exactly know or had experienced how it happens. What was a condom? Oh, that one mention of it in class? How do you use it though? Do I have to? What if I'm gay and don't plan on getting a sperm cell into an egg cell? Several questions left unanswered.
When all was done we were handed a bag, gendered to either the boys or girls, filled with soap, deodorant and a little rubber foot to put the soap on. You know, the basics. Don't ask me what the girls got, though, as they were instructed not to talk about anything with the boys. No joke.
Current legislation requires a better education, but current legislation doesn't have the backbone to make sure it happens. What we have on the books is outdated from 1988. I think a lot of research and information has been collected since then. Correct? God forbid we discuss HIV/AIDS. And, you better swear not to mention the word "homosexuality."
I call bull ****. I call for a change.
I thank mother nature for allowing me to grow into the healthy human that I am today, but that was no thanks to the education I received at school. Excuse me, elementary school. Not high school. Not ever in high school (at least not for the Honors kids). Elementary school.
If you see nothing wrong with my story, feel free to keep on doing what you're doing. Browse Facebook and update your Instagram selfies. But if you're ever-so slighted by the harm my story could have caused to others in my school, or if you're angry that the entire sex ed was a complete waste, then please, do something.
Call your legislators. Email your legislators. Write them a letter. Shoot them a text. Go to their office and sing them a song about how we need better sex education. Anything.
Or you could follow this link: http://bit.ly/sexedusc