Teaching Sexuality Beyond Fear

Teaching Sexuality Beyond Fear
Teaching Sexuality Beyond Fear

Due to incomplete sex education classes and a culture very stereotypical popular, initiatives and content are emerging to break taboos and teach young people that sexuality is not just a source of stress, violence or disease. It is also eroticism, desire, self-discovery and pleasure. Second text in a series of three.

In the old Quebec, we spoke of sexuality to warn Christians against sin. Today, we talk to young people about sexuality to warn them against unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and sexual assault. In both cases, sexuality is approached first and foremost as something dangerous.

This is what Patrick Doucet observes, who teaches the psychology of sexuality at Marie-Victorin college, and who is also the author of two books on the subject: These stubborn taboos and Do we really have to talk about all this? Cunnilingus, fellatio and other delicacies, both having appeared by Québec Amérique

“At each session, I probe my students. And even this session, the knowledge they have acquired in sex education classes is quite rudimentary. Basically, with a few exceptions, we talk to them about contraception, pregnancy, anatomy of the genitals, and we add consent. Anyway, he adds, “sex education classes are taught in school by any teacher who has received two hours of training on the subject.”

Without ignoring traditional approaches to sexuality, Patrick Doucet prefers to approach the subject through pleasure and detail different practices.

Practices and dysfunctions

Because perceptions about sexuality are extremely varied and, in this teaching, nuances are required. There are, he says, “different ways of perceiving different acts. Things are perceived differently by different people, both individually and culturally. I’m also going to talk about sexual dysfunctions, I don’t know if it’s covered in high school, premature ejaculations and anorgasmia. But it is not uncommon. There are some that can stress a lot ”. The author notes, for example, that practices may vary if a culture values ​​virginity above all else, for example.

In an interview, the author regrets that the media have focused their attention on the part of his last essay that deals with masturbation, when he spoke just as much about pornography. “If it is estimated that between 1 and 10% of consumers of pornography on the Internet admit to worrying about the consequences of their consumption, it remains that the vast majority find their account there without that posing a problem,” he wrote.

“Pornography is not bad in itself,” says Patrick Doucet. The problem is that it is a kind of privileged education for young people because there is no sexuality education as such during their schooling. On the other hand, there may be a link between pornography consumption and a decline in sexual appetite. While the majority of pornography consumers are still men, it is estimated that at least one-third of women (30-86%) of women also use it. “A minimum of one in three women is no small feat,” he says.

“Whether in North America, Europe, China or Taiwan, among others, adolescents are developing difficulties with Internet pornography,” he wrote, citing a study published in 2012 in Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity. “Although I do not have figures for this specific population, it would not be uncommon, they say, for adolescents to masturbate three or four times a day in front of a screen. He then quotes Australian sociologist Monique Mulholland as saying that panicking about it, like refusing to talk about it, only leaves them more to themselves.

At the question Do we really have to talk about all this? Patrick Doucet therefore answers in the affirmative of course, and probably sooner rather than later. « When I finish my course and ask them at what age they would have liked to have had the same course, they all tell me “in secondary 2, 3 or 4”, in those ages. “

However, he continues, parents alone cannot provide their children’s sex education. “Parents can foster a climate of discussion. But parents cannot explain all the cultural differences ”, nor decline all the possible sources of sexual pleasure…

And love in all this ?

For Patrick Doucet, sexuality is not necessarily associated with love.

“Sex doesn’t require love,” he says. But it is certainly an ideal, ”among the young people he meets, he mentions. “When I ask my students who aspires to meet the right partner and who is the person they are going to spend their lives with, the vast majority raise their hands,” he says. Yet, statistically speaking, it’s a safe bet that the majority of these same young people will have more than one partner in their life.

These stubborn taboos Masturbation, pornography and education / should we really talk about all this? Cunnilingus, fellatio and other delicacies

Patrick Doucet, Quebec America, Montreal, 2020, 243 pages / Patrick Doucet, Quebec America, Montreal, 2018, 240 pages

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