My male classmates learnt how to put on condoms while we learnt how to use tampons.
I was recently invited to attend my 10-year highschool reunion, and found myself umming and ahhing as to whether to attend; these were the people who had made my life hell, and the only reason I had for going to the reunion was to flaunt my newfound success. But what if someone else shot down my success with something better?! It was time for a Facebook stalk.
That was when I discovered it.
One baby, two babies, three babies, four – and 95 per cent of the mothers were single. Not that there’s a problem with that, but it got me wondering what Catholic school had failed to instil in us about relationships.
My mother and father divorced when I was very young, and while I was growing up, my father used to throw curses at my mother, telling her my sister and I would end up pregnant without his influence. Evidently, as it turned out, I was one of the few in my grade who didn’t end up being a teen parent (take that, Dad).
However I never learnt sex ed at school. While the boys were being taught how to put a condom on a banana (yep, that’s actually what happened), my fellow female classmates and I were given lots of information on pads and tampons. By that time, I’d had my period for five years – I could have taught the fucking class!
Instead, while us girls learnt the ins and outs of menstrual hygiene, the boys in our class were relied upon to practise safe sex – our Catholic school essentially put the onus solely on them to prevent pregnancy.
Funny, considering most of our lives it’s battered into women that men mature slower than us. It’s used as an excuse for teasing when we’re young, then cheating when we’re of dating age – but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for teen pregnancies.
Even funnier considering, in the Catholic world, it’s a wide-held belief that it’s a sin to have sex before marriage. In fact, in the faith, it’s technically frowned upon to wear a condom when having sex, as then you’re blocking ‘God’s greatest blessing’ – procreation – from occurring.
Why are we letting this happen?! If you’re a parent of a Catholic student – boy or girl – please teach them to practise safe sex. Yes, it’s scary to even think about bringing it up; but doing so won’t plant the ‘sex’ seed in their head, despite popular belief. And isn’t it scarier to think your son or daughter could end up having a child before they’re really finished being one themselves?
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Comment: Did you go to a Catholic school? If so, was your experience similar?