Why I Teach Sex Ed: Getting Real, Boston, MA

By Matthew Lowe

Matthew Lowe

I teach Sex Ed because the Sex Ed classroom is the only secular educational space in which a student’s development as a whole person is directly addressed. If human sexuality were purely scientific, the biology teacher could cover it, right after mitosis and meiosis. But human sexuality is about the body, the mind, the developing self, and the complex of relationships and institutions that comprise the human world. Unlike other subjects which may be reduced to the abstract and factual, the topics of human sexuality are intensely concrete and personal.

It may help the reader to understand that I have only been teaching Sex Ed for four months; before that, I spent the last five years teaching philosophy to teenagers in a religious setting. Adolescence is the perfect age for beginning to ask and answer deep, personal questions, and my professional passion in life is for creating fun environments for students to explore the questions that engage them as intellectual, emotional, and social beings. I switched fields from philosophy to sexuality education in order to find a wider venue for engaging teenagers in lessons and discussions on personally relevant subjects.

As a philosopher (lover of wisdom), I am especially drawn to PPLM’s Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works Curriculum on account of its commitment to social-emotional learning (SEL) skills (Educators trained in Get Real can view these lessons here: 6.1, 7.1, 8.1). To me, the SEL skills are the keys to a healthy sense of self, relationships, and belonging in the world, and thus, of course, to a healthy sexuality. I am proud to teach a curriculum that effectively produces healthy sexual beings and, along the way, healthy human beings. You can learn more about the Get Real curriculum at www.getrealeducation.org.

Editor’s Note:
“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.