First aired on Thursday August 6th, the Channel 4 documentary series Sex in Class has just made massive waves not only in the world of media, but also in how sexual education is taught in schools.
Belgian sexologist Goedele Liekens launched a new, and extremely controversial type of sexual education program for teens ages 15 and 16 at a school in Lancaster, United Kingdom. The U.K., known for its sky-high pregnancy and abortion rates in the last decade, is aiming to take chances like this to reduce rising statistics.
By incorporating images, activities, personal exploration, parental involvement and more, Liekens has already made a breakthrough in the way students will perceive the run-of-the-mill sexual education classes. The time to be bold is now. Liekens blames lackadaisical and “shy” parents, alongside the availability of pornography online for students, for the high pregnancy rates and lack of proper education regarding both sexual behavior and sexual anatomy.
Liekens uses the approach of being open and honest about sexual activity, exhibiting both the “joys and dangers” of sex at a young age to where teenagers will understand the possible consequences involved. She has a youthful, and at times comedic flare, but strongly believes that if sexual education is taught properly that it will change the lives of many teens.
She encourages the exploration of one’s body.
— Rebecca Green (@Neon_Bambi) August 6, 2015
The involvement of parents…to maybe a scarring level.
#SexInClass Imagine your mum telling you about her first sexual experience. What the fuck is this programme.
— Connor Healey (@CNRHLY) August 6, 2015
And begun to tackle false information on consent that kids today truly believe,
"if she's given me consent to shag her i'm sure i can come on her face" THIS IS WHY WE NEED EDUCATION ON CONSENT #sexinclass
— count chuckula (@charlubby) August 6, 2015
#SexInClass "she swallows out of respect" no.. It's usually because you've just put clean sheets on but whatevs
— Charlie Knight (@scarletcuffs) August 6, 2015
We’ve seen this major broadcast blow up on the internet, and millions have shown interest in both ups and downfalls of the topic, so, why can’t these same conversations be had toward Liekens’ approach to sexual education classes, in North America?
For example, what if we asked students to rewrite their life according to pornography or childbirth like Liekens did? What if teachers and schools didn’t shy away from asking and answering realistic questions of their students about their sexual anatomy, and what could happen if they don’t take proper precautions engaging in sexual activity?
A friend of mine who watched this earlier today came up with an excellent point. If teens saw what happens before, during, and well after sexual activity, they may not be as likely to make that decision until they are truly ready. One of the things they brought up on social media for debate, is whether or not teens/students should be shown a birth video, ultrasound recording, or a counselling video of someone who could not cope with the loss of the person they shared their first sexual experience with. Would it make a difference in how sex classes are handled in schools?
Would it have changed the way Generation-Y grew up?
Would it change how many of our friends and classmates had children at a young age? Would it change how people view and understand consent in college? Would it change how our generation is viewed as the doomed generation? If students in these classes could see the realistic perspective and not the sensationalized stance that the media takes on sex, parenthood, and pornography, maybe statistics across the board would change dramatically in a decade. Sex is a growing controversy, and a powerful weapon. We need to speak to kids in a language they understand in order to promote conversations about healthy sexuality.
What do you think? Sound off below and let us know what you thought about Channel 4’s latest documentary, Sex in Class!
Featured Image via screengrab of Mean Girls.