It’s no secret that a culture of silence, shame, and fear surrounds adolescent sexual health education in America. Since the 1990s, social conservatives have promoted an abstinence-only or “just-say-no” approach to sex education. Deeply rooted in social conservatism, abstinence-only programs are strategic, well-funded initiatives designed to undermine gains in both the women’s rights and gay rights movements. These programs are anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-sex, anticontraception, and pro-heterosexual marriage. They undermine public confidence in condoms and contraception, promote homophobia, stigmatize sexuality and sexual development, and inculcate youth with notions of traditional gender stereotypes. They represent the past, but here at Birth In Color, we are looking to the future.
Our sex education classes aim to treat sexual development as an important part of adolescence. We want to provide a perspective that centers consent, includes marginalized sexualities and genders, and is based in scientific fact. Comprehensive sexuality education, can help replace the culture of fear, shame, and denial that permeates our society with a culture in which sexuality is accepted as normal, natural, and healthy; one in which young people are valued and celebrated for who they are no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; where education about sexuality is valued over the promotion of ignorance.