OPINION: Sex, a societal taboo that shouldn’t exist

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Lyric Aquino

Sex — we all know what it is. We hear about it and see it all day through film, music, movies, books, magazines etc. Most of us crave it, yet it seems as though we tend to focus on the act itself rather than the underlying issues within sex that need to be addressed.

But what is our society’s obsession with sex? Is it because it’s been deemed as some sort of sacred secret or is it because it’s been repressed in our conversations throughout our entire lives?

Humans are capable, and often do, have an indication of sexual instincts and an idea of sex by the age of six. So, why don’t we have comfortable conversations and discussions about the topic?

Sex shouldn’t be a secretive thing that you learn when you’re old enough to understand. It isn’t a hard concept and if there was proper education on the topic there wouldn’t be such a stigma surrounding healthy conversations about sex.

Why don’t we give our children real answers about sex without lying to them? Why do we have to speak in hushed tones while talking about it with our friends? Why does bringing up sex in class discussions cause people to tense up?

While taboos are often used to suppress instincts, cultural and societal oddities, etc. this taboo about sex seems to only make it grow larger. The more secretive we are about it, the grander it becomes in our heads.

In school we’re taught the basics about sex. What goes on, how you can contract diseases, the risk of pregnancies, etc. Yet many schools don’t teach the emotional implications it can have as well as useful and in depth discussions about the reproductive system or how to take care of your sexual health.

How are you supposed to know when to do it? How do you know if you’ve developed testicular cancer? Is it possible to explain the various concepts of the sexual spectrum in a way that students can understand it?

Oftentimes I hear college-age students having hushed conversations about serious issues in sex. These topics should’ve been discussed in school. Young people shouldn’t have to rely on hushed conversations in a dingy hallway to get information about their bodies and safe sex habits. Especially because many aren’t having “the talk” or any talk about sex or sexual health with their parents.

While Google is available, one can’t deny the comforting feeling of being able to hold a meaningful conversation with someone. Being able to look at person and hear the words “don’t worry, I’ve been there” or “you’re going to be okay” can make all the difference in someone’s life.

Yet we don’t see these conversations happening. It’s imperative for young people to be able to communicate about sex, especially within this day and age. Sex, sexual health and the various aspects of the sexual spectrum need to be talked about openly.

If we have healthy open conversations about these these topics, maybe our society will mirror these conversations. Perhaps we’ll evolve and disregard the stigmas of promiscuity and virginity. Maybe we’ll have better sexual health and finally teach women about their bodies and various disorders female reproductive systems can have.

Although I understand there are people who aren’t comfortable with this conversation, I believe the overall sexual health of the general public needs to be revitalized. Whether it be physical or mental, we need to pay attention to the sexual health of our friends, family and everyone we care about.

Lyric Aquino is the features editor. Contact her at [email protected]