Social stigma often surrounds the topics of sex and sexuality, which can make them difficult to appreciate and understand. Children who don’t identify with their assigned gender can be made to feel as if they’re somehow defective. Teenagers may find themselves in painful or confusing situations due to a lack of knowledge about their changing bodies. Even between loving partners, hesitation to talk openly about sexual desires or preferences can cause unnecessary conflict. It may be hard to discuss, but there’s nothing inherently shameful about either subject.
Sex is a normal, natural part of existence. Understanding our sexuality, gender identity, and sexual orientation are essential when forming a perception of ourselves and our relationships with others. It’s also a critical component of navigating safely through the emotional and physical challenges of growing up. However, learning doesn’t stop upon reaching adulthood. An individual’s sexuality will continue to change over time, as differences in age, society, and partners present themselves. Sexuality is an incredibly diverse, beautiful topic to explore. The trouble comes when trying to figure out where to begin.
When it comes to sex, myths and rumors abound, perpetuated in good part by ignorance. One of the most popular tales revolves around masturbation and how indulging in it could result in everything from blindness to the growth of hair on the palms. In actuality, masturbation has no such risks and benefits overall health. It’s practiced around the world and in every culture but wasn’t officially recognized as a normal behavior until 1972. With that kind of track record, it isn’t surprising that there are still so many misconceptions about sexual topics.
Education is the key to ending confusion. TV and movies often present the joy of sex without ever discussing the trickier, messier portions of it. Even in pornography, condoms or dental dams are not frequently used onscreen. The finer details of sexuality may be glossed over in school classrooms, perhaps from embarrassment or a lack of time to devote to the subject. On this website, you’ll find factual information and verified resources for learning the truth about sex and sexuality. No question is too silly or embarrassing to be asked, and it’s never too late to learn more about your body and your own personal sexuality.
For more information on the importance of learning about sexuality, please feel free to explore the resources below.
- Human Sexuality
- An Explanation of the Circles of Sexuality
- Why Sexuality Education Is an Important Part of a Safety Plan
- Why Study Human Sexuality?
- Protecting the Right to Innocence: The Importance of Sexuality Education (PDF)
- Introduction to Sexuality and Gender Identity
- A Definition of Sexuality
- Why We Need Sexuality Education