My husband and I went to see comedian Bert Kreischer and he did his period party story on stage during his “Body Shots” world tour. I first heard “Period Party” by Bert Kreischer on Conan O’Brien and wrote about it in a Period Party Blog article. I am hopeful that this makes his next recorded special because he does a great job destigmatizing parenting a daughter. When we saw him live he added a bit about what it would be like to through boys a similar party (vanilla milkshakes and New England clam chowder soup) and in his humorous way pointed out that we also do not educate boys about what their bodies are going through during puberty. Apparently, Bert thought he broke his penis the first time he ejaculated. Bert is not the only one.
According to the Lunette blog, “Although some young menstruators will be educated on what to expect before and during their period, there are many young teens in the U.S. who won’t. According to Guttmacher Institute, many teens in the U.S. are not receiving the proper sex education they need, and fewer teens are being exposed to important information regarding sexual health.” The Guttmacher Institute mentioned in that quote has a facts sheet about teen sexual and reproductive health in the United States which includes this information about sexual health education:
SEXUAL HEALTH INFORMATION AND EDUCATION
Young people need and have the right to accurate, comprehensive, inclusive information and education to support their healthy sexual development and lifelong sexual health and well-being (see box).
- States and local school districts play a large part in determining what is taught at their schools.
- Twenty-two states and DC mandate both sex education and HIV education. Two states mandate sex education only, and 12 mandate HIV education only.38
- In 2011–2013, 82% of females and 84% of males aged 15–19 received formal instruction about how to say no to sex, and 60% of females and 55% of males received instruction about birth control methods (Figure 3).39
- In 2016, the median share of schools in each state that provided instruction on all 19 topics that the CDC considers essential to sexual health education was 38% of high schools and only 14% of middle schools.40
- The share of schools providing sexual health education declined between 2000 and 2014, across many topics.41,42
- As of 2017, fewer than 7% of queer students aged 13–21 reported that their school health classes had included positive representations of LGBT-related topics.43
- Parents are another possible source of sexual health information for young people. In 2011–2013, 70% of males and 78% of females aged 15–19 reported having talked with a parent about at least one of six sex education topics: how to say no to sex, methods of birth control, STIs, where to get birth control, how to prevent HIV infection and how to use a condom.39
- Digital media offer opportunities for youth to confidentially search for information on sensitive topics44 and increasingly are being used to provide sexual health interventions for young people.
Sexual health and reproductive education is important for everyone. One of the many things I love about Days for Girls International is their emphasis on education for women and men. You can take their training courses free online and be an ambassador for heath education.