Advocates for Youth 3 R’s Promotes Hook Up Culture to our Kids
For a curriculum that alleges to reduce risk and increase respect there is a pervasive hook up culture ethos throughout Rights, Respect and Responsibility or 3R’s. Take this video for our 8th graders:
“Sex Myths” spends more time reinforcing sex myths than it does clarifying pregnancy prevention.
Teens hear all about pulling out, not coming, soda as a douche, girl on top, standing up, and doing it in a pool. Potential teen sex scenarios are broached culminating with the protagonist doing the wrong thing; talking his girlfriend into sex without a condom. Afterwards she is worried about pregnancy while he lolls about in a hammock clearly uninterested. She opts for the post coital technique of jumping jacks. Her boyfriend does muster the energy to tell her from the hammock, as he enjoys a post sex candy bar, “jump higher”. This directive is his sole contribution to prevention. The weight of a pregnancy scare rests solely on the female; a message we do NOT wish to affirm in teen boys. Clearly this is a misogynistic joke on the girl and by extension, our girls, to elicit laughter from the teen audience.
Next “SHE’S SO PREGNANT” is stamped emphatically across the last frame wrapping up the humor portion of the lesson. That punchy end line is sure to get a classroom of titillated teens to laugh loud enough and long enough to miss the last few seconds of actual information regarding avoiding pregnancy. This information is served up rather blandly by comparison and certainly is not the “take away” info from the viewer’s experience.
Treating sex myths as a joke ensures teens’ attention, but one is left asking “What do teens really learn from this video AND how is the classroom culture affected by viewing/reacting to this together?”
While reinforcing stereotypes of irresponsible teen sex it quite clearly contributes to the hook up culture parents want kids to avoid.
Envision the classroom laughter dying down in response to the “SHE’S SO PREGNANT” punchline just in time for students to catch the two district approved suggested teen sex “trustworthy websites”, sexetc.org and stayteen.org. Oh, by the way parents are given a brief referral as well…..brief. Missing are any visual depictions of teens having meaningful conversations with parents. Parent influence is completely absent from this video. Clearly the parting emphasis is on teens seeking more information through further online research.
Recommended website sex.etc’s address is very close to sex.ect’s (notice etc vs. ect). Just one misstroke of the keyboard by a teen will lead them to sex.ect, which links to hard core porn. Once there teens will be exposed to horrific, disturbing graphic sexual imagery illegal for minors to view. Just such a mistype led a concerned mom to hardcore porn. This raises the question of why the district is telling kids to type “sex” into their computers’ search engines as that can lead to any manner of pornographic websites. (SCREENSHOT inserted here, please)
However, let’s say the teen, seeking further advice as directed in class, makes it to sex.etc. There, all kinds of messaging surrounding birth control, relationships, and sex is presented. One of the educational features touted is a glossary of 400 sex terms for teens to click on for definitions. One can imagine teens scanning the list for new unknown words, clicking through the pop up list to learn all the objectifying terms for vagina, penis, oral sex, anal sex, oral/anal sex, testicles, breasts, sexual positions, lubricants etc. etc. This site lives up to its name “sex.etc”. How is this “medically accurate” and “scientifically based”? While it might appear educational on first flush that kids are encouraged throughout 3 R’s curriculum to explore their sexuality online with the trustworthy websites provided, it can quickly turn sinister if a teen stumbles onto hard core porn through their sex terminology research. The slang sex terminology does not contribute to furthering teens’ education but rather to a culture of disrespect, objectification, and harassment while giving teens new terms to google. Teens do not need to learn more slang from school sources nor view porn due to adopted curriculum.
Imagine corporate America forcing adult employees to view equivalent materials in the workplace! It would be considered contributing to a harassing culture and would never be tolerated. Yet, Advocates for Youth is serving this up to our students in San Diego Unified. Surely our kids deserve better.
Advocates for Youth message of “everyone’s doing it” is sharply countered by Teens Speak Out: About Sex and Sex Education; National Survey Indicates That Most Teens Want More Than Contraception From Their Sex Ed Classes by Valerie Huber of Ascend.
Among the findings of this survey, “Most teens are feeling pressured to have sex. Most young adults have had sex, but don’t like “hooking up”, and many wish they had waited longer for sex. A sizable minority of teens is waiting for sex, but not primarily because of a fear of pregnancy or STDs” and perhaps most importantly, “Teens think sex education classes should focus on healthy outcomes, not on controversial topics.”
Teens list sex education classes as part of the pressure they feel to have sex. The authors of the study pose this question for parents, policymakers and educators regarding their priorities for sex education, “Do those priorities encourage or discourage sexual risk? Do teens feel pressured into risky behaviors that they might not participate in if they were hearing a different message from the influences in their lives?”
These are the precise questions we as parents within SDUSD are asking ourselves and our school board members. Does the existing curriculum encourage or discourage sexual risk by promoting a hook up culture?