It’s a familiar pattern. We grow up, we enter school and we’re forced to learn some form of insufficient sex education
that preaches abstinence, focuses solely on heterosexual relationships and teaches us the functions of our reproductive organs. We learn nothing about the nuances of gender identity, sexuality, pleasure and, of course, consent, which in turn leads to a closed-minded, shameful view of sex and sex ed in general, and in the case of the latter, increased violence towards women and non-binary people. This is true for the vast majority of our country — only 13 states are required to teach about any kind of consent, according to SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change’s 2021 Policy Chart
. In Refinery29’s 2021 Sex Re-Education survey, only 52% of respondents reported learning about consent in any capacity in their school curriculum. And just because it’s taught doesn’t mean it’s necessarily comprehensive — according to the Guttmacher Institute
, just 18 states require that the sex education taught be "medically accurate," which should tell you all that you need to know about the value our country places on this information.