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The Answer Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Sexuality Education’

Selling Bodies

July 31, 2008

I never fully grasped the extent to which advertisers use sexual imagery to sell products and services until I stumbled upon a Macy’s ad a couple weeks ago. The advertisement promoted a “Hot Summer Sale” and featured a beautiful model in a skimpy bikini sitting on a rock in a pool of blue-green water. A quarter of her bare breasts were visible.

Even more riveting about this image was the way the water lapped at the edges of the model’s bikini bottom. I actually wondered if I was seeing her pubic hair. Her left arm draped across her body while her hand seemingly touched the exposed pubic hair.

The image left little doubt in my mind that the advertising agency was using the promise of sex and a woman’s scantily clad body to lure customers into Macy’s for the storewide sale.

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The “N” Word

July 24, 2008

Most people around the world—a lot of children, too, no doubt—know by now what the Rev. Jesse Jackson recently said about what he wanted to do to two important, private body parts that belong to Senator Barack Obama.

The Times ran a recent column on the reasons why the paper did not use Jackson’s “n” word (for “nuts”) when first reporting the story. I was concerned with the column’s quote from a Washington state reader, who said that the paper is edited by “prudish kindergarten teachers.”

I beg to differ; most early childhood teachers are not prudish. The kindergarten and early childhood teachers I have trained are very familiar with young children’s body parts, particularly those that have to do with “peeing” and “pooping.” Many have to answer such questions as: Did her penis fall off? Will mine? What hole does poop come out of?

Not only are these teachers not prudish about body parts, many are comfortable talking about birth and babies. Kids in the early grades want to know: How did I get out of Mommy’s tummy? How do Mommy and Daddy make a baby?

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A National Health Literacy Test

July 18, 2008

I recently learned of a study that found that $300 to $400 million dollars could be saved each year if terminally ill patients stayed in their homes rather than in hospitals during their last weeks.

The saving of $300 to $400 million dollars a year grabbed me, because I have an idea that would save untold millions of dollars in health care costs and make us a healthier nation if we, as educators, got behind it. It is to require that all high school students take and pass a nationally standardized health and sexuality education achievement test in order to graduate.

Such a requirement would elevate the health and sexuality education field, and take it off the perimeter of education policy and practice, where it currently resides. It would give sexual health the same level of importance as other subjects that require standardized tests, such as reading, math, science and writing.

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