young men, message relevance and sex


So. Teaching the repercussions of sexual escapades to young men.

I guess I began thinking about this topic in my Birthing Class for Bachelors post.

http://brucemctague.com/birthing-class-for-bachelors

And then I came across this television ad that was banned:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nojWJ6-XmeQ&feature=player_embedded

Yup. The commercial was banned (don’t ask me why because I am unclear why).

But I have to tell you I believe it is an extremely relevant message to a young male adult.

Anyway.

I will get to why I believe it is effective (although I would make some changes to the actual call to action part of the execution) but let me begin with what actually happens nowadays on the whole “sex education” front (not in schools really … cause I don’t have a strong point of view on that … but rather what guys are exposed to with the thought it prepares them for ‘possible fatherhood.’).

Yes. Young men are exposed to a wide range of attitudes and beliefs in relation to sex and sexuality. In fact. Maybe an overwhelming amount of attitudes & beliefs.

And honestly they are all (or appear to be) contradictory and confusing.

For example, some health messages emphasize the risks and dangers associated with sexual activity. And media coverage (and television) promotes the idea that being sexually active makes a person more attractive and mature.

And then everyone has strong views on what attitudes people should hold and what moral framework should govern people’s behavior – these too can sometimes seem to be at odds.

It is tricky.

People providing sex education have attitudes and beliefs of their own about sex and sexuality.  And while it should be important not to let their own attitudes/beliefs influence the sex education provided inevitably it is influenced. For example, even if a person believes that young people should not have sex until they are married, this does not imply withholding important information about safer sex and contraception.

But let’s remember.

These are boys. Or young men. Lecturing young men is … well … difficult.

And I seriously don’t believe that many young men reject opportunities to talk about issues where people have strong views, like abortion, sex before marriage and contraception and birth control.

But it is just information.

And, frankly, anyone can try and impose any moralistic point of view they want on guys but …. at some point … their little head is gonna start talking to their big head and all education bets are off.

Some people may call it hormones. Whatever. Little head takes over.

Look. I understand effective sex education is supposed to provide guys with an opportunity to explore the reasons why people have sex, and to think about how it involves emotions, respect for one self and other people and their feelings, decisions and bodies.

And I certainly believe they should be able to decide for themselves what the positive qualities of relationships are. And it is very important that they understand how bullying, stereotyping, abuse and exploitation can not only negatively influence relationships but that there are unacceptable actions and consequences to inappropriate behavior.

But in general young men (all kids actually) get this type of information:

  • Sexual development & reproduction – the physical and emotional changes associated with a maturing body (as well as sexually transmitted diseases and HIV).
  • Contraception & birth control – what contraceptives there are, how they work, how people use them, how they decide what to use or not, and how they can be obtained.
  • Relationships – what kinds of relationships there are, love and commitment, marriage and partnership and the law relating to sexual behavior and relationships as well as the range of religious and cultural views on sex and sexuality and sexual diversity.

In addition, young men get a huge volume of information with regard to sex education and stuff like that.

But.

Lets strip all the crap away <hey. I am not suggesting eliminating the education but don’t miss out on the bigger issue> and get to the issue.

Here is what I believe is missing.

The result of the information.

Let’s talk consequences.

The consequences of their life, lifestyle and ultimately the responsibility associated.

Yup.

Go back to the first chart in the post. The footnote. “Listening to children in the middle of the night” gland is so underdeveloped it doesn’t even show up. That chart (meant to be humorous) gets right to the point of sex education issues (to me).

Yup.

The responsibility.

Or truth. Or whatever. Or call it “how big a fucking life changing event this is.”

I wrote about one perspective on this in my Birthing Class article. HUGE impact on me. I recognized how huge the event was (beyond the fun acts that got you to that place).

The banned TV execution at least takes a stab at showing responsibility. Or tough responsibility (because the easy stuff is … well … easy to envision).

Some cold water on the face may encourage some reflection on behavior.

Stop behavior? C’mon. I know it won’t. But at least give some pause.

Education won’t make boys pause.

Hard facts may.

And.

If none of that works?

Just show them this chart to the right.

Maybe that will help.

Written by Bruce