Teaching Sex Ed to Teenagers, my life calling?

This is an excerpt of an email I wrote while I was in Buduburam the first time, which was almost exactly a year ago. Below you will find a brief account of my first sexual health class at the Carolyn A. Miller School…. Enjoy !
im teaching health to grades 4, 5 and 6, and ive also just started a
sexual health class for grade 6. the kids in 6th grade are anywhere
between 12 and 18, and no one has ever told them anything about sexual
health, sex or anything related to that. with the prevalence of STDs,
gender based violence, rape and HIV, these kids really need to be
given proper information so that they know whats going on. its taboo
at home, and most of the kids at school dont live with their families
– they have foster parents, legal guardians or live with their
aunties/grandmas/cousins. so last week was the first class, which
ended up lasting 2 hours, instead of 30 minutes, because some teachers
were absent, and they told me to just stay in there to keep teaching.
well, let me tell you, that was the most interesting/weird thing ive
done in a long time. since this was the introductory session, we just
let the kids ask us anything they wanted (i teach with a liberian
woman, who is training to become a nurse – im getting her involved so
that the kids still have a health teacher once i leave).
sample questions:
” is it true that when boys look at pictures of naked ladies, they
have “warm feelings inside”?”
( i let the boys in the class answer that one)
” is it true that if a boy has “warm feelings inside” and there is no
girl to satisfy him , he uses soap?
(again i let the boys answer this – and i was surprised by the honesty
of their answers….) actually, at that point, their Religious and
Moral Education teacher came in to sit in on the class, and gave a
VERY detailed answer.
“how do lesbians have sex?”
” is it true that people can have sex in the anus?”
” what is semen? where does it come from?”
” if a man has sex in the anus, will he get his period?”
most of them did not know about the concept of oral sex, and they
wanted me to explain it to them…… seriously……
you get the picture – this lasted for 2 hours. this week, im gearing
the discussion towards relationships, responsibility, self-respect and
all that BS. i never thought in my wildest dreams that i would have to
talk about sperm to teen age boys.”

3 thoughts on “Teaching Sex Ed to Teenagers, my life calling?

  1. Wow. I don’t think I would have been able to answer some of those comfortably. Sounds like a really interesting experience.

  2. I really liked how you gave actual examples of questions that were asked. Although this may have been very challenging for you (and awkward) I think it just validates how IMPORTANT it was that you held this session with them!

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