My two 14-year-old boys are finishing up their sex ed module today. As an OB/GYN I’m very impressed with the breadth of the subject matter. Their public middle school devoted four weeks of science classes to sexual education. I asked my kids if everything they learned made them more or less interested in sex. Obviously this is an n of 2, but they were less interested. They learned that curiosity is one reason kids engage in early sexual activity and now they have zero curiosity in sex because, like most 14-years-old who feel they have learned everything, THEY are now the experts.
The month-long program started with the teacher asking about comfort level discussing sex and genitalia. The kids were asked about conversations they had at home to gauge their comfort level. Oliver shot his hand up first and loudly proclaimed, “My mom is a gynecologist and she wrote about her vagina for the New York Times.”
“Excellent,” said the instructor. “I know I can call on you first.”
The curriculum didn’t just cover body parts and infectious diseases, and birth control, it was also consent, peer pressure, coercion, sexual orientation and gender. They also discussed substance abuse. I learned there are 15 steps to put a condom on correctly. I said, “15 steps?” in disbelief, and then they proceeded to lecture me on consent, checking the expiration date, how to open the package and so on.
So much awesome, especially the confidence to lecture me about it with no giggling.
Last night we reviewed their pre-test. As a highly experienced test taker I have warned my kids over and over again that the pre-test almost always has the same questions as the test so learn the freaking pre-test questions and answers by heart.
As we reviewed the questions again in the car on the way to school I wondered how many people can answer these questions? If we think this is what a 14-year-old should know, well, then everyone should.
So I present the pre-test questions for my kids’ 8th grade sex ed class.
How many can you get right?