Dec 18, 2021
I wish that you had cared more about educating your young and impressionable students
Dear Catholic High School,
I have recently learned more about sex education as a sophomore in college than I ever did when I attended your school and needed it the most. The past month in my Comm 215 class, we are doing a unit on Sexual Citizenship. Normalizing sex education which teaches us everything from consent to sexual pleasure to healthy relationships.
Catholic HS, I am angry at you. I resent you because of your choices and the ways you went about NOT educating young girls on healthy sex and what it means to be a woman. I hold you responsible for all the unanswered questions that I had that I never got answers to. I was a young high schooler who was impressionable and vulnerable and your lack of sex education, oftentimes made me feel alone in a world that was so powerful and overbearing. I understand that sex education can be a hard topic to discuss especially with young students, but that did not give you the right to not educate at all.
With no knowledge of what a healthy relationship and sex life was, I was thrown into teenageship with little to no information. My generation especially, spends hours of their day on social media. It is a nonstop cycle of seeing unreachable beauty standards and perfect relationships. When you failed to educate us on sex, many students including me had to turn to what we knew best, social media. I had to read articles and videos on whether what was happening to me was “normal”. Something as small but important as what form of birth control is most effective and what are STI’s and STD’s?
You are a Catholic high school and I was proud to attend a school that celebrated God. But I strongly disagree with the way that you made me and other girls feel about sex. We were told that sex was a sin, something that should not be enjoyed unless you are married and because of that, you refused to talk further about sex because you did not condone it. With your views and mine aside, whether you permit sex before marriage or not, there should have been more resources and discussions about safe sex. Sex shouldn’t have been an uncomfortable topic that students were afraid to talk about. Your lack of discussion created a fear in your students to speak up on the questions they had and to seek help on bad experiences that they had with sex in fear that they would be labeled a sinner.
With no discussion about consent as well, I went into college unknown on how to feel confident enough to speak up when I was uncomfortable in sexual acts. I was never taught how to have a discussion with my partner and how to ask for consent in a way that was understood by both partners. Not learning these important things about consent caused me to immensely struggle. In ways that I wish could have been prevented. I have struggled to identify healthy ways a guy can ask for consent to make me feel comfortable instead of just assuming. I have struggled to have the knowledge and power to have a voice when things haven’t felt right. A close friend of mine throughout her relationship was sexually active but her boyfriend, just always assumed that although she never screamed “NO” that she was okay with having sex. She was never taught that she should be asked if she's comfortable or if she is okay with having sex especially if she was intoxicated and could not make a logical decision. But she never was taught, and neither was I. Oftentimes she wouldn’t want to have sex but her boyfriend did, so they did. The danger of not learning about these things is evident in the incidence of sexual assault that many of my friends have experienced. BFHS, if you were to have a discussion with your students on consent, situations like these, may have been preventable and girls may have been given the confidence and knowledge to speak up when uncomfortable.
I wish that you had cared more about educating your young and impressionable students. This education is crucial to your students as the knowledge on healthy relationships, consent and sex will carry with them for life. For the sake of your current and future students please do better.