Exploring the spectrum: Why sex ed needs to be more inclusive
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There are a lot of downfalls when it comes to modern sex education. Even though we live in what is certainly supposed to be a diverse and inclusive society, when it comes to teaching children about sex, the curriculum is anything but that. Indeed, as school children, we only learn about the bare minimum regarding sexuality and gender; namely puberty (so that our young selves aren’t entirely traumatised by the strange adolescent metamorphosis our bodies undergo), heterosexual intercourse and the potential dangers that come from having it – should you forget the logistics of that ‘practical’ lesson with the condoms and phallic-shaped vegetables. Of course, in actuality, there’s a lot more to sex than that. Sure, those are the basics, but it seems damaging to limit sex education to such predominantly heterosexual themes. Adolescence is a confusing stage of life; a time when everyone is still trying to figure themselves out, what they want to do with their lives, what they want to achieve and who they want to do all these things with eventually (if anyone). Just as the world isn’t wholly black or white, sexuality doesn’t begin and end with heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality. It just isn’t that simple. And young people shouldn’t be reduced to thinking that they have to fit all their feelings and thoughts regarding their identities into one of those three categories. The spectrum of sexual orientation is complex, diverse and completely individualistic. It is therefore important to make young people aware of all the orientations and what they mean, in order for those who do not so clearly identify in any category to seek a better understanding of their own feelings and attractions. The spectrum includes, but is not limited to, the following orientations:
- Asexual/Aromantic - When someone does not experience any sexual and/or romantic attraction towards anyone of any gender.
- Graysexual/Grayromantic - When someone rarely experiences sexual and/or romantic attraction towards anyone of any gender.
- Demisexual/Demiromantic - When someone experiences sexual and/or romantic attraction only towards someone with which they share an emotional bond.
- Heterosexual/Heterromantic - When someone experiences sexual and/or romantic attraction towards someone of a different gender.
- Homosexual/Homoromantic - When someone experiences sexual and/or romantic attraction towards someone of the same gender.
- Bisexual/Biromantic - When someone experiences sexual and/or romantic attraction towards someone of either the same gender or a different gender.
- Pansexual/Panromantic - When someone experiences sexual/and or romantic attraction towards someone regardless of their gender.
- Polysexual/Polyromantic - When someone experiences sexual and/or romantic attraction towards multiple, but not necessary all, genders.
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