You wait by the cash register in the checkout line of Shop Rite. As you pore over the contents of
your cart, you confirm that you have all the items you need. You wait for your turn to check out, when
your eyes wander to a nearby rack of colorful magazines. They read in big, bold letters, “10 Sex
Secrets You Need To Know,” “7 Tips For Great Sex!” They look trashy, but you are intrigued
nonetheless by the prospect of learning new, hidden secrets for better sex. You do not pick up the
magazines to look through them, but you cannot help but wonder what secrets they hold.
A good deal of those magazines actually say that the key to great sex is communication.
According to The ...view middle of the document...
At the dawn of his adolescent years, the American teenager can expect to participate in sexual
education classes in his school. Now is the time, he tells himself—many questions about the unknown
practice of sex have weighed heavily on the mind of this hormone-fueled teenager. How do you have
sex correctly? Does sex feel good? How can you make it feel good? When is the right time to have sex?
All these questions whirl about in the student's young mind. The teacher enters the room, ready with an
abstinence-only lesson plan. In a swift, unified motion, the teacher dispels all inquiries from the student's mind by telling him that he should not have sex before he is married, lest he ruin his whole life. The Guttmacher Institute approximates that 75% of American middle schools and 87% of American high schools teach abstinence-only curricula as meager substitutes for sexual education. Despite the prominence of abstinence-only education in America, CBS News reports that 90% of Americans have premarital sex. The student scratches his head, left to grope around in the dark with his unanswered questions. His teacher has told him not to have sex before he marries, but chances lend themselves to the probability that he will have sex before he marries. He will not know what to do when the time comes, and when the time does come, he still may not know what to do, or how to communicate with his partner about his feelings. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the student is likely to turn to his parents, his peers, or the media for answers. However, parents are likely to give misleading information about sex to teenagers. Doctoral candidate Leila Samson and Doctor Maria Elizabeth Grabe write in their article, “Media Use and the Sexual Propensities of Emerging Adults,” “Researches often conclude that this media map of human sexuality is highly suggestive, unrealistic, and even unhealthy” (Samson). Either of the two ideologies are imprinted in the student's mind: that which closes the discourse on sex and renders him puzzled when he must communicate to his partner during sex, or that which offers misleading information about sex.
In contrast, other countries Holland and France embrace the discourse of sex in their sexual education programs. Amanda Duberman notes in The Huffington Post that eighth and ninth graders receive condoms during their sexual education classes. This indicates the French people's open attitudes towards sex, as well as their acceptance of the likelihood that adolescents will begin to experiment with sexual intercourse. Holland is also strikingly open about sex, as...