Survey: Sex Ed Curriculum Lags, Adults Are Left Uneducated and Misinformed
ONTARIO, Calif., Sept. 13, 2018
ONTARIO, Calif., Sept. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey conducted by CalExotics, one of the largest adult novelty retailers in the U.S., reveals that sex education has significantly lagged over the past several decades, leaving adults today uneducated and misinformed. Without a comprehensive curriculum, adults may feel unprepared to meet the changing attitudes around sex and sexual identity, and the ever-evolving spectrum of tolerance and acceptance. According to the survey, 79 percent of adults never formally learned about consent and 75 percent never learned about sexual harassment, which are two issues that demand attention given today's cultural and political climate.
Sex Ed For Adults
According to the 426-person survey, respondents between 18 and 29 years old and those between 45 and 60 revealed their most recent sex education class focused on the same topics, despite the multi-decade gap: abstinence, pregnancy, reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases, and contraception.
"That's three generations of stalled learnings," said Dr. Jill McDevitt, resident sexologist for CalExotics. "Because the topics around sex are always developing, sexuality is a subject we need to be addressing in medically accurate and culturally appropriate ways not just in middle and high school, but also throughout adulthood."
Survey respondents tend to agree with McDevitt. Over 70 percent of adults surveyed believe they would benefit from taking a sex ed class now, meanwhile, 20 percent have never had a formal sex ed class at any point in their life. Even more alarming, 92 percent of respondents have never formally learned about the following:
- Sex positions/how to have sex
- Local resources for sexual health
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Same-sex relationships and sexuality
- Interracial relationships
- Sex toys
TV/pop culture are major influencers, parents are minor
According to the study, respondents obtain most of their sex education from what they see on TV or learn about via pop culture. Forty-three percent learned about sexual identities such as being gay, lesbian, transgender and LGBTQ from TV and pop culture, and 42 percent learned about sex toys from the Internet. But according to McDevitt, these are not the most appropriate or accurate mediums for learning and understanding such potentially complex subjects.
"I like watching Netflix, just like the rest of us, but let's not forget that these plotlines and characters are developed with entertainment in mind - not education," said McDevitt. "Instead of real sex education from trained professionals, we have most people learning and modeling their sexual and relationship behaviors from what they see on TV, or from untrained but well-meaning YouTubers. To combat serious issues of sexual harassment and assault, gender inequality, and more, sexuality education must be accessible to more people and include more topics."
While some sex ed curriculums for youth have been updated to include topics like consent and sexual identity, those updates are still few and far between. But according to McDevitt, sex ed - then and now - could use some more reinforcement from parents, too. The survey revealed that less than 10 percent of adults learned about sex from their parents, leaving a whopping 81 percent who to turned to friends, the Internet or trial and error to learn about important sex ed topics.
426 U.S. residents (18 years or older) participated in the CalExotics Sex Ed survey, conducted online during the month of August 2018.
CalExotics, formerly known as California Exotic Novelties, is the world's leading manufacturer of pleasure products. Since 1994, the company has been at the forefront of research and development of products to enhance the intimate experiences of women, men, and couples. With an extensive array of pleasure products in every category, CalExotics services the needs of intimate products retailers worldwide through its network of manufacturing and distribution facilities. Its products are available online and from retailers throughout the world. To learn more about CalExotics, visit calexotics.com. For more information about upcoming products and other exciting news, follow CalExotics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.