Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Creating Sex Education that Improves Quality of Life

Creating Sex Education that Improves Quality of Life

Kidder Stands Up!Hi there, I'm Kidder Kaper. I'm an author, podcaster, sex educator, blogger, yada, yada, and I think it is time that we radically change our approach to the way we view and deliver sex education. Traditionally, sex education has taken either a left or right turn down a two forked road. The left road usually concerns itself with medically accurate facts often abandoning the emotional components of sex to be experienced without guidance by its audience. The road on the right is often an single lane highway littered with lies, guided by morality toward an end goal of complete and total abstinence. Though I tend to choose the left road when given only two options, I find myself wondering what we want sex education to be and how we intend for it to improve the lives of its students.

It seems to me that both medically accurate and abstinence only sex education methods, as they are currently delivered, ignores many facets of the human experience that make sex a life-long pleasure that can be experienced safely with proper preparation and guidance. If the goal of education isn't designed to make life better for those that receive it in as many ways as possible, then why do it at all? Why is sex treated as though it were toxic?

Sexual shame is everywhere. It is easy to blame religion for starting this as religion is largely at fault, but now sex negativity is just as likely to come from secular sources as it is from religious wackadoos. The difference between the church is that it kept sex shameful and in the closet, but the secular media made it publish and used sex as a way to pass judgment on our neighbors, vilify hypocritical religious leaders, and even impeach presidents. Not all of this is bad. In fact, pulling sex out of the closet for public consumption is often quite healthy. While, I enjoy reading about an anti-gay reverend caught choking on cock at a highway rest stop as much as the next person, negating the entire career of a teacher simply because her boyfriend snapped a shot of her tits twenty years ago is completely insane.

We, as a people, handle sexual issues with a large degree of insanity. On one hand we vilify the harmless private sexual activities of consenting adults, yet continue to pay patronage and tithings to a church that has been caught red-handed protecting dangerous pedophiles. Sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies continue to increase in number as sexual education continues to exclude information about contraceptives and even the basic understanding of the human sexual condition. We're arresting teenagers as child pornographers for sending pictures of their bodies to other teenagers. We're actually criminalizing consensual teenage sexual experimentation and willing to brand them with a scarlet letter for life that puts them in the very same camp as child molesters. There is even a district attorney that promises to prosecute any teacher who dares to teach their students about contraceptives. Sex education isn't just a matter of debate any longer, it is now a crime.

In my humble opinion it is long since time to start at square one and build sexual education materials that significantly improve the lives of the people that receive it. For fans of O.W.L. (Our Whole Lives) as offered by the Unitarian Universalists, get ready because we're gonna take what they've started and make it a Technicolor adventure that's never been attempted in the past. This is the Kaper Method and to compare it to O.W.L. would be like comparing the OmniTheater to a nickelodeon.

Sex education materials that follow the Kaper Method must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Teach the values of self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, justice and inclusivity
  • Be created age appropriate for the following audiences, 0-4, 5-10, 11-15, 16-18, 19-35, and older adults.
  • Be produced and presented with the finest, up-to-date information and anatomically correct art, animation, photography and film available
  • Be unafraid of offending any religion, creed, or ideology, should entertaining that fear compromise the accuracy of the educational materials
  • Be distributed in manners that are reproducible and 100% free to the students who receive them

The sex education that I'm talking about teaches its students about their bodies in a manner that is free from judgment and answers every question that they have with the best information humanity can offer.

A sample of what I'm talking about can be seen here in this comic we created about how to properly use a tampon. Prior to this comic, young women were forced to learn how to use tampons largely on their own due to the prudish instructions offered to them in the past. This comic was cost effective to produce, easy to understand, and infinitely accessible on the internet by nearly everyone nearly everywhere. It can even be printed and distributed freely by anyone who wishes to reproduce it. This comic represents just a fleeting glimpse of what is possible if we put our heads and pennies together and did something really meaningful for ourselves, our children, and the generations who follow.


Write the Author: Kidder Kaper



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