- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 96% of teenagers enrolled in school are taught some sort of formal sexual education before they turn 18.
- Although many schools base their curricula on evidence-based information, doing so is not a government-mandated requirement nor a flawless system.
- Misinformation about sex can also be spread through magazines and peers.
- Here are seven “facts” many people learned growing up that aren’t true.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more.
Sexual health education is a fairly recent development in the United States, with the first sex ed classes cropping up in schools in the 1960s, according to Planned Parenthood.
But the concept of sex education has since become a part of most kids’ basic schooling. Today, the CDC estimates 96% of teenage females at 97% of teenage males enrolled in school are taught some sort of formal sexual education before they turn 18.
Still, that doesn’t mean what’s been taught is accurate.
Sex ed curricula have always varied from school to school and, although many schools base their curricula on evidence-based information, doing so has never been a government-mandated requirement. Plus, scientifically valid programming can still lead to misinformation.
What’s more, most early iterations of sexual education class omitted important information about sex in the LGBTQ community.
And, of course, school isn’t the only place former adolescents learned about sex, whether or not what they learned was true. Magazines, peers, TV shows, and movies spread plenty of misinformation as well.
Here are seven “facts” about sex you learned growing up that aren’t true, including some that remain a pervasive part of our culture’s understanding of sex and sexual health.