You already know sex isn't shameful. Duh. But millions of American students are still being taught that it is—if they're being taught anything at all. Fewer than half of U.S. States require public schools to teach sex ed. Of those states, just 20 mandate that the info given be medically, factually, or technically accurate. WTF? As a result, when it comes to basics like birth control, nearly 40 percent of teenage girls and 45 percent of teenage boys say they've never received any instruction.
So far the government has been little help, spending more than $2 billion on abstinence-only sex ed since the 1980's. President Obama cut this funding for the first time in favor of evidence based-programs, but President Trump and the Republican-lead congress seem eager to reverse course.
Sigh. America's teen pregnancy rate is already among the highest of any developed nation. STIs are running rampant and abysmal sex ed maybe play a role in sexual assault incidents—many young people leave school never having learned a thing about consent.
But it's never to late to be empowered about your sexuality and reproductive rights. Pick up my new story in the April issue of Cosmopolitan and use it as your ultimate sex ed course. Your health and satisfaction could depend on it.