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Kaitlyn Kenealy from Fem2pt0 shares why teaching teens about masturbation fits into a healthy, comprehensive sex ed framework:
Even though all teens begin masturbating at an early age, and often feel embarrassed and ashamed about it, when we become adults, it is males who tend to be empowered to talk about their sexual practices, while females sit in silence. This embarrassment is the primary reason we decided to advocate for more inclusive sex education and a more open dialogue about masturbation. We know that healthy choices and respectful behavior are the products of a mind that has been nourished by knowledge and confidence in oneself. Trusting individuals to make the right choices about their own bodies and sexualities is crucial to empowering women.
And, I’d argue, crucial to empowering men! Sending gendered messages about what’s right and wrong does a disservice to all genders.
But the real point here, I think, is that sex ed isn’t just gory pictures of STI-infected genetalia, or labeling diagrams of reproductive organs. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Sex ed should be a vehicle for helping shape healthy adults – and that means introducing them to what healthy relationships do (and don’t) look like, what it means to be financially literate, and, yeah, knowing your body and what feels good.
But this week I’ve also been reflecting on a common reaction to stories of street harassment: the “why-didn’t-you-just…?” You know…
If you haven’t had the opportunity to really soak in Rush Limbaugh’s obsession with Sandra Fluke (and the sex lives of women everywhere)…now’s your chance.
And if you think this is just one man talking about just one incident, you’re wrong. Sexism in our media and in our communities is very, very real. It’s just so rarely captured so bluntly on YouTube.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see a radio host about some aspirin.