by Darrien Howze, M.Ed
Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan
A funny thing happened on the way to looking for a new job. I found a career that I could be proud of: sex education. I get paid to discuss the most common but the most uncomfortable topic in this nation. This career choice has enabled me to deal with my own insecurities about sex and sexuality in a positive and productive fashion. I discovered my own biases and misconceptions about this topic and I had to educate myself to get rid of them. Ergo, I have learned more about sex education than I thought I ever wanted to know.
I have a passion to share this vital information about sex and sexuality in a package that emphasizes a balanced comprehensive approach. I take students behind the curtains of fear and misinformation. I give them the most current and medically accurate information about sex education. My task is to destroy myths, falsehoods and untruths about one of the most basic parts of our shared humanity. I empower students to say no, if they choose this route. I give students the tools to understand how contraceptive devices work. I assist students in navigating the stormy seas of dating and relationships. Most importantly, I teach students how to take responsibility for their sexual health.
I love what I do because it allows me to help people in a way that individuals sometimes take for granted. We did not come into this world with a manual, as a result, our parents did the best job they could with the information they had. My responsibility as a sex education instructor is to be an asset to parents and a guide to young people for this journey of learning.
Without comprehensive sex education, our children will drown in a sea of ignorance and intolerance. I stand with people who want to empower teens to become responsible, educated and informed citizens. I am a sex education instructor.
“Why I Teach Sex Ed” profiles sexuality educators throughout the nation. This column appears each Monday. If you teach sex ed and would like to tell your story, send your submission, in 350-700 words, to Bill@SexEdStore.com.