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Should masturbation be taught in school?

Besides the obvious feel-good factor, masturbation has several benefits for both men and women. It is one of the many ways people can explore their sexuality within the confines of their bedroom. But does the thought of teaching school going kids about masturbation make you uncomfortable? I can imagine myself as a teen, and my mom is walking into my bedroom to have a frank conversation with me about fapping. That would have been extremely embarrassing.

But that’s just me. An Australian sex writer Nadia Bokody, on the other hand, has other ideas, saying that the current education system is “frighteningly inadequate” and should incorporate masturbation as part of the normal sex education. Her argument? Kids need to start learning about masturbation as soon as they hit puberty.  And she raised a pretty valid point: “Whether we like it or not, research shows kids ARE having sex, and much of it is unprotected and had well before there is a clear understanding around how consent works.”

She also wondered how children would be expected to eventually have sex in the future if they were ashamed of their organs. She quipped: “Masturbation is one of the safest, healthiest activities a young person can do in the privacy of their own bedroom, and yet we continue to shame it and avoid discussion of it when it has the power to potentially prevent cases of sexual trauma and STDs.”

She also thinks that teaching masturbation in school would help address the current imbalance in terms of knowing the male and female genitals. “Is it any wonder then that young women go into the world thinking their pleasure is a non-issue during sex?” she posed. “Girls should be taught to label all the parts of their vaginal anatomy from as young an age as possible.” She noted that while boys can name every part of their body, the female genitalia, young girls’ bodies were “shrouded in mystery and stigma.”

Her argument is based upon schools being in a position to prepare kids for adulthood. She feels that the current approach to sex is ‘deeply flawed’ as it medicalizes sex and fails to adequately prepare kids for the more intimate element of sex which according to her, leads to unhealthy attitudes towards sex.

The fact is, kids as young as ten are accessing porn now and taking much of their sexual cues from it,” she said. “If schools don’t take on the responsibility to educate kids about their sexuality, they are going to continue to take it from the media, which, as we all know, presents very mixed, and troubling, messages about sex.

So, why should masturbation be taught in school?

She received a lot of backlash for her stand, but you have to agree that Nadia Bokody makes some valid points. However, she was certainly not referring to teachers having a hands-on tutorial detailing how to rub one out. The point is having the subject addressed and discussed in normal sex education classes. The subject certainly merits a discussion.

To that end, I am also going to discuss how an open discussion about masturbation might actually help the younger generations change their attitudes towards sex.

It’s all about self-pleasure

If you recall your first sexual encounter, then you might remember it may not have been a particularly pleasurable experience. It can be uncomfortable for some while for others it is a painful experience. And because young people are taught that sex is the best thing ever, they continue practicing it uncomfortably.

What would teaching them about masturbation change? Well, they would know how sex should or should not feel like. They would not be forced to continue having awful sex just because they heard it is incredible. They’d know that they can do much better by themselves. In other words, they would have another option: self-pleasure.

Learn about the clitoris

We all know that the clitoris is one of the most important female sexual organs. However, a lot of young people don’t actually know what a clitoris is or where it is located and how vital it is for female pleasure. What if they were taught about it in their puberty?

It would empower the women and teach young men that it takes much more than just sticking a penis into a vagina for the women to achieve full pleasure. Imagine if you knew all that from a young age.

Remove stigma

Many teenagers grow up with differing opinions about masturbation, mainly because of how they were raised. To many, this was a shameful topic never to be discussed. For others, it is an outright sin and an affront to God.  While religious beliefs are to be respected, it is easy to make a case that masturbation is the lesser evil. For instance, why fight something so personal and private when the alternative is the risk of unhealthy sexual behaviors that may lead to pregnancy, STDs, and many other negative outcomes?

With proper education, perhaps kids might realize that it is a safe alternative that may actually make a difference in their life someday.

Reduce sexual urges

Teenagers are a bunch of hormone-obsessed individuals. At their age, there are a lot of hormonal urges running through their bodies which might (and actually does) lead to some bad decision making.

If students learned the reasons why masturbation is a safe and easy way to put those urges in check at a young age, maybe that would help them avoid the constant peer pressure to engage in dangerous sexual acts that might ruin their lives.

Finally

Most sex education programs don’t cover the topic of masturbation. It thus remains a taboo, sometimes even scary, subject.  Do you think it should be introduced in schools?

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