In the last episode ⏩
The curriculum is in the textbook, the textbook is in the class, the class affects the teachers and students, and the direction of the each class varies depending on the language in the textbook. Both content elements and outcome standards consist of content to be learned in adolescence when the body and mind grow and form a sense of self-identity.
Then, how do textbooks introduce elements related to sex education? Although page design, sentence style, and illustration style may vary depending on the publisher, the perspective and content are almost all the same. We looked at the ‘Adolescent Sexual Development’ sections of some representative textbooks adopted and used by many schools.
JeongYeon’s Textbook Commentary Round 3 - Female Sexual Curiosity
CASE #7 Restricting Curiosity?
What’s included in the textbooks
✔ When dealing with the formation of healthy gender values, it is emphasized that adolescents should refrain from sexual impulses and not obtain distorted sexual knowledge through harmful sources.
What’s not included in the textbooks
✖ It doesn't cover how to get proper sexual knowledge when you're curious or need it.
✖ It also doesn’t cover how adolescents can naturally understand their sexual needs and handle them themselves (masturbation).
And now, your homework for today
I can still recall the moment I began working in a middle school, opening up the textbook with the passionate goal of creating a sex education curriculum that could inspire others.. but I was disappointed and angry at the books which had barely changed since I myself was a student.
I couldn’t believe that teenagers were still, still! receiving this kind of useless education.
Of course, not all teachers provide sexual education based only on the contents of the textbook. There are many teachers who supplement the areas they find lacking by adding their own content. However, this means depending on the teacher you have you may or may not receive the sex education necessary for living a healthy life and respecting sexual identities. Your sexual health and satisfaction outcomes are reliant purely on luck.
The current textbooks are generally focused mostly on pregnancy and childbirth, and it’s regretful that sexual health and women's sexual identities are excluded. Education organized in this way strengthens the "male-centered sexual perception" that excludes women's sexual identity and views them as objects of pregnancy and childbirth. As a society we need to reorganize the curriculum based on practical information that actually works throughout life, not on potential selected experiences such as child bearing.
The compulsory curriculum of elementary and middle school is really important because it is a process that generates basic perspectives and knowledge of all citizens. If women's sexual identities are erased from school education, women's sexual identity will inevitably be erased in society. If school-based sex education changes in a way that properly deals with women's sexual identity, society has the opportunity to change as well.
- If textbooks, which are the basis of classes in the compulsory curriculum, fail to provide gender-equal sex education, limitations in the quality of sex education are inevitable
- We need to change the sexual education standards in our society that erase the sexual identities of women