After Seeing How Damaging Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Can Be, You'll Love The Video John Oliver Wants All Classrooms To See

"Socks don't protect my heart."

Each Sunday, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver exposes problems that plague our country, along with actual feasible approaches for fixing them.

This past week, he analyzed how frighteningly disastrous Sexual Education is in America. There's no federal or state mandates describing what should be covered in these classes, and a lot of what is making it in (as well as what is being purposefully left out) is extremely disturbing.

What is actually going on in these classrooms?


Teenagers understandably have a lot of questions about sex, and these programs should be answering them.

Unfortunately, many sex ed programs fall short. Parents, who are uncomfortable with the idea of their children becoming sexually active, threaten schools who they feel provide their teens with inappropriate information. As a result, many programs are woefully incomplete.

Some of these programs won't even permit talking about forms of contraception, let alone distributing condoms or even having a demonstration about how to use them.

Not knowing how to properly use condoms increases the chances that they'll break during intercourse or will get skipped altogether. 

To make matters worse, research has shown time and time again that abstinence-only programs just aren't effective. They don't actually stop teens from having sex, they just deny the knowledge needed to make smart decisions when engaging in sexual activity. It's no wonder that the states that have the most restrictive sex ed classes have the highest instances of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

While it's clear that what they aren't covering in sex ed is damaging to teenagers, sometimes what they are saying is even worse.

Rather than arming teenagers with information, many abstinence-only programs teach how to devalue a person's worth based on sexual activity.

Oliver presented many examples of school-sanctioned programs that likened sexually active individuals to garbage, such as chewed up gum, an old toothbrush, and dirty shoes.

The logic (or lack thereof) isn't just that having sex is a "dirty" thing to do; it actually will make them a dirty object that nobody would love or want. 

These comments are horrific all on their own, but are exponentially worse for teenagers who have been victims of sexual abuse.

Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at age 14 and endured nine months of violent sexual abuse.

After being brutally raped multiple times each day, Smart recalled the words of her own Sex Ed teacher, who used the chewed gum example.

"She said 'Imagine you're a stick of gum, and when you engage in sex, that's like getting chewed. And then if you do that lots of times, you're going to become an old piece of gum, and who's going to want you after that?'" Smart recalled, her voice breaking. "Well, that's terrible; nobody should ever say that. But for me, I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I'm that chewed up piece of gum.'"

"Learning nothing would have been better than learning that," Oliver responded.

A frightening similarity in the examples that Oliver introduces is that they are all speaking to the sexually active girls as being gross and used up, and all of the guys are supposed to be disgusted by them.

This movement to slut-shame ties right in with rape culture, and is why some men have no problem objectifying women.

It leads to fraternity members from Yale to feel free to gather and chant obscene remarks.

The fraternity responsible for this demonstration lost its charter for five years as a result, but there have been copycats.

However, Oliver refused to give the disgusting people that contribute so highly to rape culture the final word.

An amazing star-studded video was introduced on the show that is filled with common-sense information that teenagers really do need to know.

"If you want to be abstinent, that's fine. If you don't want to be abstinent, that's also fine," the video explains. "Abstinence is like being a vegetarian. People should respect your choice. Some people will make fun of you; those people are assholes."

View John Oliver's entire argument here:


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