The Sex Ed Problem We Don't Talk About Enough

Sexual education is a lifelong process. As you grow into yourself and your sexuality, you no doubt learn more about your desires, what feels good, and what can go wrong. Ideally, the sex ed you received in school at least taught you the basics: what you need to know about proper contraception, consent, and of course, protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Unfortunately, though, for too many Americans, that's not quite the case.

We conducted an informal survey of more than 500 Refinery29 staffers and readers to find out what their sex education was really like — and what they would have wanted it to be like. Sure, contraception and STIs (and sometimes consent, too) were mentioned, but that doesn't mean the information was always sex-positive or even necessarily correct. Ultimately, our survey suggests some major holes in our collective sex schooling. Check out our results below:
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Illustrated by: Anna Sudit
Lucky for you, Refinery29’s Sex School is now in session. Get ready for a sexual re-education.
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The gap between what we learned in sex ed and what we're learning through sexual experience is big — way too big. So we're helping to connect those dots by talking about the realities of sex, from how it's done to how to make sure it's consensual, safe, healthy, and pleasurable all at once. Check out more here.
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