Professor Alan McKee says that sex education classes aren’t reaching boys. And he has a point. You only need to look at our teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates to know that the current comprehensive sex education isn’t working. Unfortunately, he’s advocating more of the same failed approach with some rude and crude humour thrown in.
Explicit and comprehensive sex education is exactly what our children have been subjected to for decades, and we are yet to see its promise, of completely happy and healthy teenagers with dramatically lowered rates of abortions and sexually transmitted diseases.
Professor Alan McKee is a lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology, in the School of Media, Entertainment and Creative arts. He has recently taken an interest in pornography in the media, and he takes a very pro pornography stance. He has published several books, numerous journal articles, as well as articles in lay and ‘gay’ publications. Although his background is in television, he holds himself up as an authority on pornography, and its effects on people. He even claims that it can have positive effects.
And he thinks that rude and crude is exactly what boys need to learn about intimate relationships. Girls, he thinks get the information they need about sexual relationships from magazines and peer groups.
The subjects he wanted to cover proved a bit much for his comedians to find humour in at first. Given that they were ‘vulgar stand-up comedians’, that’s hardly the sort of material that is going to encourage responsibility and restraint.
However, professor McKee does make a couple of valid points, there are problems having boys and girls together in the same classroom, and expecting that they will learn in the same way. Also, he is willing to admit that the current approach is failing. And there might be something to the idea of using humour. But making it vulgar and explicit will only alienate some of the class, and encourage high risk and immoral sexual practices.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States has two suggestions for ‘safer’ sex that don’t make their way into sex education programs, or if they do they don’t get emphasised. The longer a young person waits before becoming sexually active, the better. And the fewer sexual partners, the less risk to the person. Chastity seems to fit that advice very well. Somehow I don’t think that advice is presented in professor McKee’s classes.