A high school in Oregon, US, has been receiving flak from parents over the assignments given to students. The students were asked to write about their “sexual fantasies.” The students were required to pen down a short story of their sexual fantasy with no kind of penetrative sex. The students at Churchill High School were asked to complete this assignment as part of their health class.
The assignment required the students to choose three items from the prescribed list that included massage oil, romantic music, flavoured syrup, feathers, etc. The instruction also stated that the story should show that you can show and receive loving physical affection without having sex.
The assignment outraged parents and netizens within an hour of it being posted on social media. While the school stated that the syllabus was approved by the education department, the district authorities claimed that the curriculum could be unauthorized or outdated.
Sexual Fantasy Assignment At US School
Why are people outraged over this particular harmless and healthy discussion at school? Do parents really believe that their high school-going children are unaware of sexual fantasies and maybe even have their own fantasies? Considering the fact that children do discuss sex and are exposed to unfiltered content on the internet, it is better that schools provide a safe space to learn, discuss, and explore safe sex.
One of the parents claimed that the students were “mortified” and “creeped out.” They could have been embarrassed to do this assignment at school, but it’s definitely not a topic that they don’t discuss among friends. If any students were hesitant to complete this assignment, they could be given an alternative or asked to submit it anonymously.
In India, where premarital sex isn’t accepted in society, let alone teenage sex, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS -5) reports that more than 39% of women have had sexual intercourse before they turned 18. If this is the percentage in India, it will definitely be higher in countries like the US. When we know for a fact that more teenagers are becoming sexually active, whether we approve of it or not, why not let them discuss the topic in a safe environment?
This particular topic, which talks about non-penetrative forms of sexual intimacy, is actually a good one for children to explore because there are adults who think that sex is about “penetration.” In an Indian context, women aren’t even allowed to talk about sex, let alone have fantasies and desires in the bedroom. So it is good for teenagers to learn that sex is more than penetration and explore their fantasies in a safe environment. It might encourage girls or even boys who are shy to talk about sex to explore with the right resources.
The first thing that many teenagers do to satisfy their sexual curiosity is watch porn, which is the last place that one could learn about “real sex.” Pornography is not just fake, but the fantasies shown seem way too extreme. Looking at all the extreme stuff and penetrative sex on porn, teenagers might get the wrong idea about sex. So this particular assignment will make students realise there is much more to sex and intimacy than just penetration.
There was another assignment that involved spinning a virtual wheel with labels including oral and anal sex. The students had to write down the initials of their classmates with whom they would like to do it. Now, this is problematic because it’s very unhealthy for schools to teach children to sexualize fellow students and develop unwanted feelings. While sex education is vital and the need of the hour, there needs to be a limit to how far the authorities are taking it. There need to be certain regulations that should be followed while imparting sex education.
Controlling rebellious and devious teenagers who are high on hormones is impossible. Teenagers will find a way to sneak around, no matter how strict their parents or schools are. So, instead of imposing stern rules that lead them to discuss sex through unhealthy mediums and people, why not normalise doing it at home and in educational institutions? Isn’t that a safer and wiser option to satisfy curious teenage brains and to navigate them on the right path?
Suggested Reading: Parents Enraged By ‘Sexual Fantasy’ Homework For US Children In Schools