This post was originally written by CONOR FRIEDERSDORF for www.theathlantic.com. It is about a 16-year old girl’s view on sex education classes she took at 6 and 13. Enjoy.
When I was six years old, my parents enrolled me in a two month sex-ed class at our Unitarian Universalist church. The class was fairly basic; on the first day, I recall sketching a crude outline of a man and a woman and then labeling their body parts. I felt vaguely subversive when I got to the male and female figures’ respective groins (I have the nagging suspicion that my drawing did not include breasts, because at six, I had not yet even begun to consider that my chest could ever change shape). Our teacher sang a song about Josh and Jenny, fraternal twins with two eyes and ten toes each, and then—gasp!—mentioned Josh’s two testes and Jenny’s one vulva, presumably in an attempt to normalize dry, scientific discussion of the human body.
Some weeks later, the topic shifted to what makes a family, and we dull suburban children learned about the fictional Serena’s rather unconventional family reunion (“This is Serena’s gay cousin and his 20-year partner.