John Oliver's sex ed video is better than anything I watched in school

I grew up in northern New Brunswick, where there’s a heavy French Catholic presence and a bent toward school districts setting their own curricula. I have vague recollections of some sex ed video where the girls got shuffled out of the room to another room to watch another video. I don’t remember the content of it, but I remember some years later being surprised by all the nuance it left out — like that sex wasn’t just about getting married and trying to have kids. And I’m sure it was picked specifically because it was the closest to sex ed that the French Catholics could manage to tolerate being shown, and because there was a requirement for there to be at least SOME component in their curriculum.

Thankfully I don’t recall there being a focus on abstinence, just a general glossing-over of sex as though it’s not particularly important or relevant to the idea of going through puberty. I keenly remember a heavy focus on what it’s like to enter puberty, and how your pits would suddenly start smelling, and some talk about penises that met with nervous giggles from our class, and some brief discussion about girls getting periods that elicited more than giggles, and very little about what might happen if a couple of kids decided to start spelunking the concept of sexual congress on their own.

If I was growing up today, and saw this “sex-ed video” that makes up the back few minutes of John Oliver’s piece, I would have felt a lot less uncomfortable learning that there was more to it than what little my parents and my school were willing to tell me. I would have had to do less searching in libraries and encyclopedias for adequate reading materials that could fill in the gaps, and I would have had a less rough acclimation with social interactions with girls.

Also, HUGE props to Oliver for explaining consent in such simple terms that nobody could ever possibly misconstrue or rules-lawyer against them without looking like a potentially rapey asshole. If anyone argues back against what he’s said about no meaning no, or about only sleeping with people who want to sleep with you, they are fucking creepy.

{advertisement}
John Oliver's sex ed video is better than anything I watched in school
{advertisement}
The Bolingbrook Babbler:  The unbelievable truth is now at freethoughtblogs.com/babbler

One thought on “John Oliver's sex ed video is better than anything I watched in school

  1. 1

    As you know, I grew up in NB too, but in Fredericton. I was ridiculously lucky, in terms of sex ed. From what I can tell from friends who went to other schools in town, and even the same school that I did, it was pretty much up to the teacher what kind of sex ed you’d get. I had my homeroom teacher, Mme. R., and she went out of her way to educate us about everything she was legally allowed to about sex and sexual health. Kids of all genders had to be able to label all the parts of the system for cis men’s and cis women’s bodies. We heard exactly how the hormones did their thing. I seem to recall that we also were taught about consent, in very simple language, and also about things like endometriosis and PCOS and things that can go wrong but aren’t STIs, though we learned about them too.

    I feel really bad for those kids who aren’t lucky like I was.

    “Also, HUGE props to Oliver for explaining consent in such simple terms that nobody could ever possibly misconstrue or rules-lawyer against them without looking like a potentially rapey asshole. If anyone argues back against what he’s said about no meaning no, or about only sleeping with people who want to sleep with you, they are fucking creepy.”
    Hell yes. The rules-lawyering is especially creepy. Like “how much rape can I pretend is misunderstanding?”.

Comments are closed.