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  • Narda Skov

Can you pass a sex ed quiz based on what teens learn today?

Quiz for parents from the Washington Post, February 17, 2023

I recently came across this fun quiz for parents in the Washington Post and wanted to share! As most of you know I teach a comprehensive sex education curriculum for 5th-12th graders and as I learn more in the field of sexual health, the more robust my classes have become. Centering more on affirmative consent, medically accurate information and pleasure, and pornography, as well as gender identity - sex education has become more important than ever. What we do know is that comprehensive sex education delays the onset of sexual activity and the more our young people know (of course always age and developmentally appropriate) the healthier and more life-affirming choices they make regarding their bodies and relationships.


Please take this quiz and see how much you know (answers below)! Enjoy!


Question 1:

The majority of teens are not sexually active.

  • True

  • False


Question 2:

An egg is fertilized in the uterus.

  • True

  • False

Question 3:

People whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned at birth often realize this before they start kindergarten.

  • True

  • False

Question 4:

Performing oral sex is riskier than receiving it if your partner has a sexually transmitted disease.

  • True

  • False

Question 5:

Abstinence is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

  • True

  • False

Question 6:

Visible bumps and sores are the most common symptom of a sexually transmitted disease and a good way to know if you carry the virus.

  • True

  • False

Question 7:

Some sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia and syphilis, can be cured.

  • True

  • False

Question 8:

Sexting, or sharing sexually explicit photos of yourself online, can lead to felony criminal prosecution.

  • True

  • False

Question 9:

If your partner is jealous of the clubs you are in, that might be a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

  • True

  • False

Question 10:

If someone talks in advance about having sex on a particular night, it's reasonable for their partner to assume that they have consented to it.

  • True

  • False

Answers:

Q1: True: The HealthSmart (www.etr.org) curriculum introduces this idea early in its program as a way of easing any pressure on teens who may feel like they need to have sex to fit in. Fewer than half of all high school students have ever had sex (37% in the SF Bay Area). According to the CDC more than 87% of 9th graders and 75% of 10th graders are abstinent, or not sexually active.


Q2: False: The egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube. Sex ed classes explain how pregnancy occurs: After ejaculation during vaginal sex (penis in vagina), sperm travel up the vagina and through the uterus, with some reaching the fallopian tubes. Separately, eggs ripen in the ovaries and then are released, one per month, into the fallopian tube. If there is a ripe egg in one of the tubes, a single sperm may enter the egg and fertilize. it. Fertilized eggs travel into the uterus and implant in the uterus.


Q3: True: Gender identity is defined as "a deep feeling people have about whether they are a guy, a girl, both, neither or somewhere in between" (FLASH curriculum). People often know this when they are very little, before kindergarten, though some are older. A key message is that gender identity differs from sexual orientation, which determines who someone is attracted to. It also differs from biology, or the body parts that determine the sex identified at birth.


Q4: True. Open mouthed kissing is riskier than holding hands or using a public toilet, "outercourse" (sexual contact without penetration) is riskier than abstinence or "mutual masturbation", and having unprotected intercourse in a swimming pool is riskier than having protected oral sex or mutual masturbation. It also explains that when it comes to oral sex, the person performing it is at higher risk because their mouth is coming into contact with the other person's genitals.


Q5: True: Over many years, there has been considerable national debate over whether sex education should teach 'abstinence only', which instructs teens to delay sex until marriage and omits discussion of birth control. This is NOT ALLOWED in California (CHYA 2018). Thirty-seven states require that any sex education classes include abstinence, including 26 that require it to be stressed. Comprehensive sex education, by contrast, includes information about how to prevent pregnancy and disease - this includes how to properly use a condom. One high school lesson has students act out how to say 'no' when they don't want it. Another lesson in HealthSmart (www.etr.org) instructs directly, "The surest way to prevent STIs is to be sexually abstinent." We know this is not always enough information for youth, so comprehensive sex education is best.


Q6: False: The most common symptom of an STD is no symptom at all. Some people do develop bumps and sores on their genitals, but other symptoms are on the inside of the body and easy to miss. It's a mistake to assume that just because someone doesn't look sick, they aren't carrying a transmissible virus. It's a good idea to use condoms every time you have oral, anal, or vaginal sex.


Q7: True: Syphilis, Chlamydia and gonorrhea can all be treated and cured with antibiotics. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be controlled with a combination of medicines but not cured. Genital warts, caused by a virus called HPV, also cannot be cured, though there is a vaccine. Warts do not need to be present to pass the virus onto someone else.


Q8: True: Showing students news coverage of sexting, or the sharing and viewing of sexually explicit material online can be an effective way to illustrate this point. While sexting is often though of as people sharing naked images of themselves, it says, it can be considered a form of child pornography if the subject is under age 18. Healthy behavior around sexuality asks students to refrain or not send, or request, sexual images or messages via texting. There are many other ways to show someone you like them without sending an image and breaking the law, and possibly getting into trouble.


Q9: True: Focus on healthy relationships and how to spot problematic behaviors is in many curricula. Students are shown examples, often videos, featuring various scenarios and then discuss signs that things are going well. Signs that things are going wrong include someone getting angry if you don't text back right away, getting annoyed when you spend time with friends and family instead of them, constantly wanting to know where you are and who you are with, and becoming jealous of clubs or activities that don't include them. Other examples include a partner who tries to limit or control what the other person does, often is jealous, or throws or breaks things during a fight. A great resource for Signs of Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships is: www.joinonelove.org


Q10: False: Affirmative Consent is needed for every sexual act and each person involved is responsible for verifying that all sexual contact is consensual. Both people must be awake, aware and able to make decisions. And, many curriculum note, "consent must be ongoing and can be withdrawn at any time." Teachers are told to solicit from the class possible reasons why someone might go along with something they didn't want to do. Some examples include being unsure about how to speak up, not wanting to hurt someone's feelings, wanting to avoid conflict and fearing the loss of a friend or partner. Students also play a game where they are presented scenarios and have to judge whether both people have given consent, one person has said no or if it's unclear.

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