About Me

My name is Spencer. I'm 23 years old, and I'm a junior at Princeton. So far college has taken me five years. I've taken time off to work, transferred to USC and come back, and learned a lot along the way.

I like to think about life and what I'm going to do with mine.

I've met a lot of people my age with the same sorts of thoughts so feel free to read, take surveys, and comment.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Addendum to Sex Education Post

Firstly, let me make something abundantly clear from my last post. I still think that sex education is a vital thing for everybody. Learning the "ground rules" of sex and safe sex is extremely important and can be a potentially life altering aspect of life that should not be taken lightly. Between pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and statutory rape, there are many risks that are easier to fall into than one might think. Nevertheless, I do believe that much of our time in these so-called "sex ed" classes is wasted; so much so that most students completely check out during that entire period of the day for most of the semester.

Let me revise my suggestion of half hour seminars for the entire school and suggest perhaps less frequent and much smaller classes that really resonate with students (resonate being the key word here). Forget all those student old sex ed movies or having some older person lecture us about responsibility. Let the students run the floor by having debates about accidental (and even malicious) rape, alcohol abuse, and discussions for how to deal with such situations. Have former students come in and share. Bring in both the alleged victims and alleged assailants so students can get a full view of the circumstances. It's important to get students to relate to others' situations, and they never will unless they hear it from kids just like them. Students should know what all other people's thoughts and opinions are about these sorts of situations. It will help them to understand and be more open to new and extremely different ideas. For example, I think that rape is rape regardless of the situation, but I certainly have met people who believe that it can be the girl's fault for a multitude of reasons.

No political meaning here, just a funny image about "other types" of sex education policy.

It's critical for students of both gender to recognize and form their own ideas rather than being lectured to all semester. They simply need a push in the right direction. For example, it's important for students to see that many of those offenders aren't looking to hurt somebody; it's a situation in which things escalate far beyond what's considered right or moral, where someone inevitably gets hurt and wronged, and, although not always the case, someone must be punished for. Contrary to what you might think, there are many instances of rape victims being punished, harassed, and ostracized at schools for bringing cases forward that either give the school a bad name or mess with sports teams' rosters, etc.

Also, seeing as these scenarios are very closely related to alcohol and drugs, then why not bring in alcohol poisoning and how to treat it etc. Teach students about practical situations such as drug overdoses or drinking and driving etc. Don't just tell us about it, but let us debate about it. Make sure that we don't forget it. If people get more involved and have a decent debate or hear stories from students just like them, then they are more likely to remember. In fact, some of the few things that I remembered from seminars like that in high school were when guest speakers or older students came in to talk. It was very rare, but those are the only sessions that I really remember. For example, we once had a police officer (someone's father) come in to tell us about what to do if we were pulled over by the cops. He answered all these questions and more concerning very realistic situations that a college age student might find him/herself in. What are our rights? What forfeits our rights? What do we do when we get pulled over? How do we react? Can our car be searched? What do we do when someone pulls a weapon on you? What do we do when we're robbed? When should we fight an assailant? How do we fight an assailant? How do we prevent getting mugged and attacked? All these questions were supplied and answer by this police officer, and I know that many of my classmates remember that day. He wasn't lecturing us, but he allowed us to talk and debate and ask many more questions. Through our involvement, he made the topic relevant to us as opposed to just telling us what to do.

1 comment:

  1. Your cop example reminds me of one of the few lessons I remember from my high school's equivalent of a health class.

    There was a girl a few years ahead of us who had gotten into a good college and was in the second semester of her senior year of high school when she got caught selling coke in the school parking lot. Needless to say, her college acceptance was revoked and she ended up completing a GED and going to community college.

    When she spoke with our class, the teacher left the room to allow for a candid discussion and speaking with her was MUCH more effective then the trite "just say no to peer pressure" lecture.

    Yes, this sounds like a hyperbolic and dramatic case, but she responded to even our most basic questions with knowledge, respect, and transparency.

    At the time she spoke to us, she was just finishing up her second year at community college and was about to transfer to UCLA, so luckily for her it worked out :-)

    -College Freshman, Female