OPINION: Let’s talk about sex, baby


We need comprehensive sex education. It is becoming more and more apparent every day.

I am one of the lucky ones — my mother is a gynecologist and has always been very open with me about sex and my body.

I know about birth control, sexually transmitted infections and diseases, and the anatomy of my body. I’m lucky to understand my body and what happens to it. Not everyone is as lucky as me.

There are 11 states that require abstinence-only sex education. In 2015, less than 50% of the nation’s high schools met the CDC’s standards for comprehensive sex education.

Sex education is not just about penetration. It includes STIs, birth control, anatomy, relationships, abuse, sexual assault, and more. States with better sex education have lower teen pregnancy rates and report lower STD rates.

In 2010, the Obama administration started offering grants to help schools back away from abstinence-only and integrate evidence-based lessons into their sex education. Kansas schools started to move away from abstinence-only sex education and teen pregnancy rates dropped by 9%.

People do not know enough about sex. It became apparent earlier this week when a story dropped about T.I. bringing his daughter to the GYN to check if her hymen was still intact in order to prove her virginity.

If I’m being honest, the situation infuriates me. People do not understand anything about the hymen, so here’s a brief but thorough lesson.

The hymen is a small layer of skin inside the vagina. It is never fully intact. Period blood still comes out so there is a small hole in the hymen all the time. There are a lot of things that can “break” the hymen that are unrelated to sex — putting in a tampon, getting a pap smear, exercising, injury, heavy periods, and plenty of daily activities.

The hymen also will not always break during sex. Some people will have an intact hymen their entire lives. The hymen is not an indicator of virginity and it damn sure is not anyone else’s business but the woman it belongs to and her doctor.

Actually, let’s talk more about the rights that you have at the doctors. Even if you are under 18 years old, your parents do not have rights to your medical information unless you sign it to them. If you do not tell your doctor they can talk to your parents and they do it anyway, that is a HIPAA violation and it is super illegal. T.I. does not have the rights to his daughter’s body or her medical information.

Whenever I come across stories like T.I.’s, I call my mother. My mother has been a practicing gynecologist for more than 15 years. She’s the closest person I have to an expert on the female reproductive system.

I asked her what some of the common misconceptions people who come into her office have about sex.

“Every question you can think of — people don’t even understand there are three different holes,” she said. “Women don’t poop, pee and have sex out of the same hole.”

She mentioned STDs, female orgasms, and birth control as the most common.

“How to take birth control, how to use it, and if it is related to making you have an abortion are very common,” she said.

It is obvious that people, young and old, don’t know enough about sex and their bodies. We need comprehensive sex education in schools. Parents are not knowledgable enough themselves to truly explain the details of sex and anatomy that someone should know, because they likely did not receive proper education in it either.

Talk about sex in schools. Talk about sex with your kids. And stop trying to control your daughters’ bodies.