How did you learn about sex and relationships? At home? In school? The playground? From the internet? For millions of young people across the world, sexuality education - if it happens at all - will be too little, too biological and too late.
Aditi Gupta, co-author of "Menstrupedia Comic," recognized the period shaming while she was in college, during a conversation with her future husband and co-author. In India, menstruation is taboo, so there is no Sex Ed in the classroom.
Reproductive health is a much better term because of its broad range. When I began using this term 20 years ago people laughed at me. They asked me to explain what that was. They wanted to know why we needed to be concerned about our reproductive health.
Respect. Inclusivity. Empowerment. Communication. These are the words that should come to mind when you think of sexuality education. But unfortunately, for many New York City students and high school graduates, these words are far from how they remember their sex education experience.
If your memories of sex ed involve a gym teacher reassuring you that no one pees during sex or a science teacher blushing while explaining that boys don't menstruate, your experience is probably typical for your generation. But things haven't exactly gotten more progressive since then.
John Oliver's brilliant piece did a marvelous job laying out many of the problems in the abstinence-only approach, from its emphasis on shame and ineffectiveness in preventing unplanned pregnancy or STIs to its harmful neglect of the needs of LGBTQ teens.
Young people are sexually aware and driven. People are sexually aware and driven. Period. It's called nature. There is no point in shaming your kids. That will make them feel weird and shitty. Just don't.