John Oliver, Laverne Cox and Nick Offerman give us the sex ed lesson we’ve been waiting for
Last night on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, we were told some pretty disturbing stats re: sex education in the United States.
“There is no required standard for Sex Ed in this country,” Oliver explained. “In fact, only 22 states mandate that kids receive it, and 13 require that the information presented be medically accurate. Which is crazy. You wouldn’t accept a history class not being historically accurate… we essentially have a weird patchwork system that varies wildly and not just from state to state, but from district to district, and even from school to school.”
“And that’s really not good,” Oliver adds, “because two teenagers shouldn’t have completely different levels of Sex Ed just because they’re in two different school districts.”
Oliver goes on to talk about the different restrictions various states have with regards to sex ed. In Mississippi, you can TALK about condoms in health class, but you can’t demonstrate to students how a condom is put on (so, no classic condom-on-the-banana lecture/demo). In 8 states there are laws limiting what teachers can say about homosexuality to their students. Utah’s laws prohibit teachers to talk about the “intricacies of intercourse” (so, like, how sex works?) And in certain districts around the country, the only Sex Ed students receive is abstinence-only education, and, Oliver adds that Congress recently increased funding for abstinence education from $50 million to $75 million a year.
“…the average age people begin having sex is around 17, so just saying ‘Don’t do it’ is not practical.” Oliver points out.
There is no way we’d allow any other academic program to consistently fail to prepare students for life after school,” Oliver says. “And human sexuality, unlike calculus, is something you actually need to know about for the rest of your life.”
Meanwhile, Oliver also pointed out that sex ed has never been particularly on point. He dug up some vintage sex ed vids that are just as awkward and off-base as you’d expect. (He also included in his roundup this especially hilarious ’70s sex ed video, which introduces the process of menstruation via bowling and features a familiar face from Breaking Bad.)
So Oliver did us a solid, and enlisted his celeb friends like Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Kristen Schaal and others to make a very funny AND very accurate sex ed video, covering all the things Oliver says school districts all across the country are letting fall by the wayside, like real talk about abstinence, consent, and, of course, how to put a condom on a banana.
Check out the awesomeness below. The Oliver-approved sex ed video-part starts at 17:50, but the entire vid is well worth the watch:
Image via Comedy Central