The Daily Telegraph - Saturday
‘Not to catcall women’
I knew the basics of sex when I was a teenager, in terms of human anatomy, but I wish I’d known more about sexual behaviour – how to treat women and how to interact with them on social media, for instance. Gay sex was never spoken about either, and I don’t remember being taught about sexually transmitted diseases. That’s quite shocking.
The sexual education I received when I was younger wasn’t good enough. My first class about sex in school was when I was in Year 6; I remember being shown a cartoon of a man and woman chasing each other round a bed with a feather. It wasn’t very helpful.
Even in secondary school, sex as a subject was very lightly touched upon. Conversations about sexual behaviour are just as important as learning the basics. I learnt naturally through interactions with my friends about what’s right and wrong, but I was never taught basic things, like not to catcall women.
Sexting is huge nowadays, especially on Instagram and Snapchat. Even when I was young, sending explicit photos was common. So many people have had their nude photos – or those of someone they know – sent around their school. Surely teenagers should be told about the dynamics of how that works, and what’s right and wrong? Conversations about sexting and revenge porn might be hard to have, but they are necessary. When I was a teenager, revenge porn would never come up in conversations, and porn was just laughed about if it was brought up in class. But these things need to be taken seriously.
As told to Claudia Rowan