Sex and Swimming

I have been teaching college sexual education for 10 years and over those years I had hoped I would hear of more students having a comprehensive sexuality education. Sadly, that has not been the case. So many wished they had learned more about sexual issues. Topping the list of topics they wished they had had more information on were relationships, contraceptives, local resources and clinics, and what it means to be LGBTQ. Most said they spent a lot of time on anatomy, pregnancy, and some STIs. A common thread was that the lessons were rushed, and we always ran out of time because it was the end of the semester. Why do so many teachers wait until the end to teach these important concepts? That is not in the best interest of the students. Try something new in your sequence and teach sex ed after the first three or four weeks. Really think about why you wait (just because everyone else does?) and the research behind waiting to teach sex ed. ( there isn’t any reliable data).

I came across this excerpt in my notes. I have no idea where I got it or when, but it was written by Elizabeth Roberts depicting the importance of teaching sex ed and not at the last minute.

“I’ve often wondered what it would be like if we taught young people swimming the same way we teach sexuality. If we told them that swimming was an important adult activity, one they will all have to be skilled at when they grow up, but we never talked with them about it. We never even showed them the pool. We just allowed them to stand outside closed doors and listened to all the splashing. Occasionally, they might catch a glimpse of partially clothed people going in and out of the door to the pool and maybe they would find a book on the hidden art of swimming. But when they asked a question about how swimming felt or what it was about, they would be greeted with blank or embarrassed looks. Suddenly, when they turned 18 we would fling open the doors to the swimming pool and they would jump in. Miraculously, some might learn to tread water, but many would drown. “

Let’s do what is best for students and not let them drown! Don’t wait to teach them.

This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogmonth event. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Marcia Berke, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of

Pair this blog post with the following:

What Divides Us, Becomes Us by  Michelle Rawcliffe

Life-Affirming for All, Life-Saving for Some by Gender Spectrum

Sex Ed Needs You by Christopher Pepper

In Support of Comprehensive Sexuality Education by Andy Milne

Have you read the latest Book of the Month recommendation?

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