Planned Parenthood of WI
Why do I teach sexuality education? I choose to teach it for a multitude of reasons. Sexuality isn’t simply about whom you prefer to be intimate with or how one chooses to express themselves. It is something that continuously evolves from the time a woman is told the sex of her unborn child till the last breath is taken. My concern is the in between time. Growing up, sex and sexuality was the taboo topic in my parents’ home. Body parts were labeled “your private” and puberty was something to be figured out through trial and error. Unlike the teens I speak with in the schools, I didn’t receive the opportunity of having comprehensive sexuality education. I received fragmented messaging that included learning what made boys and girls physically different from each other in the fifth grade via a slide show and being told at home to “don’t do it”. If it wasn’t for paranoia and growing up in a strict home, I probably would have helped increase percentage of African American teenage pregnancy because I “just didn’t know”. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college in a Women Studies course that I truly learned about the umbrella of sexuality and how my body really worked. I choose to teach sexuality education because I want to give other youth of color, specifically African American girls the information and tools that I didn’t receive. I want youth to walk through each experience with their eyes wide open and their minds filled with knowledge.
Every year, new data is put out regarding sexual health. Each year, African Americans have the highest rates for everything you can think of from high blood pressure to sexually transmitted infections. It saddens me because everyone outside my community is willing to discuss it but those greatly affected are opting to remain silent. We want our voices to be heard but when it comes to our health and the health of the generations to come, we hear crickets. I’ve reached a breaking point of where being tired of the disparities is more than enough to make me want to us the bull horn of sexuality education to bring light to these issues. I recognize that change cannot happen overnight. Change comes with a gradual movement towards progress. For every person I have the opportunity to educate, I’ve made a few imprints towards progress