What is all about?
I Needed 2 Know (IN2K) is a movement for crucial change to our current patchwork of sex education mandates in the United States. Studies and our experience reveal that without mandatory, Comprehensive Sexuality Education+ (CSE+) by middle school, the majority of young people turn to pornography to learn about sex. The damage of learning from a violent, misogynistic and unrealistic information source, like pornography, is hurting young people and their relationships in a myriad of ways. (Please watch our full length PSA to learn more).
IN2K believes beginning at birth there are important and valuable lessons children need to be introduced to: boundaries, consent, and healthy, positive relationships. We feel strongly that parents should be working alongside their schools, communities and faith institutions to provide this type of early comprehensive sexuality education for their children. IN2K believes that every individual is entitled to comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality information beginning in middle school, at school. Every individual is entitled to truth and accuracy about their bodies, sexuality, health and safety, relationships. Ultimately, it is our inherent human right to agency over our bodies, how they are treated, what happens to them, how we wish to care for them and what we wish to do with them. However, IN2K believes in curriculum transparency, allowing parents to co-educate their children along with schools. This will allow them to infuse their family values into the curriculum standards. Our students confirm what Harvard University's Making Caring Common Project finds, that teens WANT to talk to their parents about these topics and they value their input. IN2K PSA bears witness to the damage caused by porn based sex education, which is the most common way middle schools students learn about sex.
IN2K hopes build a bridge and open the conversations between the adult stakeholders and the young people they love and are invested in. Begin by listening to the words of our students! After our experimental nine-week Sexual Citizenship Course (CSE+) at The College of Charleston we asked our students “What do you wish you knew and what was the result of not knowing?” Here are links to IN2K's POWERFUL shorter PSA's on: Does Porn Teach Sexual Assault? Can Porn Be Addictive? Does Porn Imitate Sex or Does Sex Imitate Porn? Signs of Grooming Porn & Gender Norms Sex Education vs. Porn Education. You can also read their powerful letters in their entirety go to STUDENT LETTERS in the menu bar or CLICK HERE. Continue reading below...
Why Push Back Against Comprehensive Sexuality Education+?
Parents, politicians and some communities oppose the SIECUS CSE curriculum because they believe CSE promotes opposing values to conservative family values and recommends teaching them when children are not ready for them. Parents wish to be their children's primary educator in this arena.
FIRST, WHO IS SIECUS?
Sex Ed For Social Change (formerly Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) was founded in 1964 by Mary S. Calderone, a medical director at Planned Parenthood. In 1991, most sex educators had little training and created their own curriculum with little to no input from the state or community to address that SIECUS created standards in the first edition of Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education. SIECUS asserts that "sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Through policy, advocacy, education and strategic communications efforts, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change - working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom as they define it for themselves." The latest edition of the guidelines was completed in 2004. These guidelines are considered the ceiling, in other words the ideal wishlist curriculum standards. SIECUS works in tandem with FoSE, Future of Sex Education. FoSE also has curriculum standards and their standards are considered the "floor" or bare minimum of what should be taught K-12.
SHOULD WE OPPOSE SIECUS STANDARDS?
First, much of what is discussed by politicians is part of the SIECUS guidelines. These are standards in more progressive states like: New Jersey, Massachusetts and California. Most states have a very watered down version of the FoSE standards. However, Every family deserves to know what is being taught to their children. Each home holds different values and beliefs and the SIECUS "ceiling" standards, especially in the K-3rd grade curriculums, would be considered progressive to many conservative parents. Teachings on abortion, masturbation, pleasure and gender & sexual identity seem more appropriate for older students. These standards are also included in the later grades and are essential based on studies and over a thousand letters and statements we have from our students. After interviewing, surveying and teaching hundreds of high school and college teens, by middle school the SIECUS curriculum standards address relevant sexual issues, damaging cultural norms, and important relationship issues that young people of all backgrounds encounter. Please watch our PSAs to learn more.
While there has been a lot of concern about the opacity of many sex education programs in schools SIECUS guidelines clearly state "While parents are - and ought to be - their children's primary sexuality educators, they often need help and encouragement. Faith-based institutions, community-based organizations, and schools can play an important role."
What is a Sexual Citizenship course?
We offered an experimental "Sexual Citizenship" or Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE+) course to college students in Fall 2021 & Spring 2022. The response was so positive, most students were confused why they hadn't gotten this information before college, when it could have positively impacted their lives.
Sexuality is part of every individuals emotional and social development. The Sexual Citizenship Course seeks to equip young people with a wholistic sexual education. Providing them knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need to determine and enjoy their sexuality—physically and emotionally, individually and in relationships. We have found that information alone is not as effective as offering young people the opportunity to acquire essential life skills, develop positive attitudes and values and engage in dialogue with their peers and course facilitators.
Sexual Citizenship/CSE+ covers a broad range of issues relating to the physical, biological, emotional cultural and social aspects of sexuality. This approach recognizes and accepts all people as sexual beings and is concerned with more than just the prevention of disease or pregnancy. This program can be tiered for different ages/grades.
Through the course students:
*Acquire accurate information on: sexual and reproductive rights and health, STD/STI’s, sexual and gender identity, qualities of healthy relationships and the red flags of unhealthy relationships, discuss and understand power dynamics and effective communication, cultural myths, sex trafficking in our communities and how to spot a trafficker or trafficked individual and resources and services available to them.
*Develop life skills including critical thinking about media and culture, healthy communication and negotiation, self-development and decision-making; sense of self; confidence; assertiveness; ability to take responsibility; ability to ask questions and seek help; conscientious bystander skills/ violence prevention and empathy.
*Consider and establish personal boundaries for relationships, workshop and discuss the nuances of consent, and gain an understanding of the importance of equal pleasure.
*Nurture positive attitudes and values, including open-mindedness, respect for self and others, positive self-worth/esteem, comfort, nonjudgmental attitude, sense of responsibility, and positive attitude toward their bodies, as well as sexual and reproductive health.
The Sexual Citizenship curricula incorporates many CSE ideas but explores the standards through a lens of personal ethics and values.