Stop Lying to Our Kids About Sex!

I believe there are irrefutable laws that govern our universe. These laws keep the planets in their proper orbits, govern the lifespan of stars, and continue expanding endless galaxies. I also believe there are universal laws that govern this planet and the people on it. Whether one chooses to obey these laws or not is irrelevant to the fact that these laws exist. And while one may exercise his right to defy these laws, he cannot alter the natural consequences of that choice.

For example, there is a universal law of gravity on this planet. I may insist that this law does not apply to me-that I am not bound by it. I may even demonstrate my defiance by climbing to the top of a 20 story building, standing at the edge, and leaping off. As I fly through the air, the exhilaration of complete freedom, the incredible “rush” fills me to overflowing and I shout, “See, I told you. The law of gravity doesn’t apply to me!” Some observers on the ground may even buy into the charade-“Look, he’s flying, he was right!” And then, with the predictability of the sun rising in the east and the waves crashing on the shore, the inevitable happens-choice meets consequence; universal law claims her own.

We see this blatant and arrogant disregard for natural laws all around us. We are immersed in a global economic crisis because governments and some citizens violated the law of the harvest, the laws of productivity, frugality, integrity and simplicity. Yet nowhere do I see natural laws more arrogantly and irresponsibly defied than when it comes to mainstream sex education and our children. When I say “sex education,” I refer not only to the curriculum in our public schools, but to the greater influences of sexualized TV, movies and Internet pornography. Research shows that a majority of teens consider the media their main source of information regarding sexual issues.

When it comes to “sex,” what does mainstream-prime-time-celebrity-ized media teach our young people? To put it simply, “Sexual intimacy is a normal, natural urge that should be readily and fully expressed between consenting individuals-if it feels good, then just do it.” And then they quickly add, “But do it safely.” In other words, there are no set universal laws governing human sexuality. It’s simply freedom of expression, personal preference and individual choice. But what is the truth? Are there natural, irrefutable laws that govern sexual intimacy? Is there a factual “science” behind sex that Hollywood, pornographers and other profiteers don’t want our young people to know about?

The Science of Sex

There is not room in this blog to discuss all of the spiritual and emotional/psychological aspects of human sexuality. For example, you cannot place a condom on the human heart. There are myriad consequences both spiritually, emotionally and physically when one chooses to ignite the power of sexuality. In this blog I want to focus on brain science. For more than a decade, I have devoted much of my professional life to the study of human sexuality and the effects of sexualized media and pornography on the human brain. Remarkable neuroscientists and psychologists have been gracious enough to place me under their tutelage and guidance. After years of study and professional interaction with these renowned individuals, I wrote my first book on this topic titled, The Drug of the New Millennium-The Brain Science Behind Internet Pornography Use (available at amazon.com).

While the brain science of sexual intimacy could fill hundreds of blogs, allow me to share just a few of the facts.

Our Creator intended sexual intimacy to be extremely powerful. The programming is built into our very DNA structure. Like other forces in nature, there are natural laws that govern human sexuality. Like the law of gravity, the use of sexuality brings consequences-both positive and negative, constructive and destructive-the results of individual choice. To understand how the natural laws governing sexuality work, let’s consider what happens in the brain when an individual becomes sexual.

In sexual process, the brain releases powerful neuro-chemicals. Depending on the circumstances and how the individual chooses to use these chemicals, the results can be glorious or disastrous.

1. Dopamine: During sexual process, the brain releases a tidal wave of dopamine-our own natural “pleasure drug.” This “drug” creates a very powerful dependency. This can be a healthy dependency between two life-long committed individuals, or it can be an addiction dependency on pornography, illicit affairs, one-night-stands, etc. In addition, when dopamine is present, the “limbic system” or pleasure/reward center of the brain takes over and pushes the frontal lobes or logic center of the brain out of the way. If the individual is not in a safe, responsible situation, he or she can make some really stupid or even devastating choices. With “right-use” dopamine brings wise choices, healthy pleasure, connection, joy and fulfillment. With “wrong-use” it triggers foolish decisions, powerful addiction, loss of freedom, and “drug highs” followed by depressing, hopeless lows.

2. Oxytocin: Known as the “bonding chemical,” oxytocin floods the brain of new mothers and fathers bonding them to their newborn children. When couples hold hands, embrace and kiss, oxytocin releases and begins forging a powerful bond. During sexual intimacy, oxytocin bonds individuals together with the same kind of chemical power that bonds a mother to her newborn child. This bonding process is a wonderful gift in a committed, life-long marriage. But imagine what happens when this bonding chemical is released during illicit sex or pornography viewing. Who or what are the individuals being bonded to, and how difficult will it be to sever that bond after the “rush” is over?

These are just two examples of the many neuro-chemicals released during sexual process. These chemicals were divinely designed to create marvelous “natural” consequences that are an unmatched gift and blessing. But, used outside natural limits and boundaries, they wreak havoc on societies, families and individuals. If you doubt it, just look around at the tidal wave of consequences. Blatantly obvious examples are the celebrities of sexualized Hollywood and pornography who portray themselves as role models for the “do whatever feels good” approach to life-“There are no universal laws” they scream as they fly flippantly through the air. But inevitably, each in turn break themselves against the solid rock of irrefutable natural laws. And as we witness their chaotic and disastrous lives, we wonder, “Do they really have the answers about sex?”

If we’re going to be truly effective in the sex education of our young people, then we need to have the maturity, integrity and intelligence to “tell the whole truth.” Yes, they need to make their own choices. But along with all of the glamour, glitz and “brain rush” of sexualized media, let’s teach our young people the true “science of sex” so they can make an “informed” decision. So they can know in advance what to expect should they choose to “leap defiantly off the edge,” or harness the power and joy that come as a natural consequence of “right-use.”

The Difference Between Sex and Love

A BBC documentary ‘The Human Body’ presented by Dr Robert Winston films a sex education class.

The teacher, after writing up the word ‘SEX’ in large letters on the blackboard, asks the teenagers to suggest other words associated with sex. Some time later, the teacher asks the class for the one word that is missing and, after a pause, writes the word ‘LOVE’ on the board.

Despite modern contraception, sex still involves the risk of pregnancy, sexual disease and considerable emotional turmoil (!). So we promote the link between sex and love to ensure that young people understand the responsibilities associated with a sexual relationship.

A girl of sixteen came out to the South of France one summer. On her first night she met an Australian whose self-confessed ambition was to lay every woman in the resort. She fell for his chat and blond good looks and lost her virginity. The next day he moved on (mission accomplished so to speak) and she was devastated.

Fathers are protective of their daughters for this very reason. They know that sex drive causes a young man to be highly focused on his own orgasm and that any idea of a relationship is likely to be the last thing on his mind. Since a woman does not get the same easy pleasure from sex, she offers a man short-term pleasure in the hope of longer-term companionship, mutual support and family (or a sense of belonging), sometimes referred to as ‘commitment’.

If young women are hoping for more than a ‘one night stand’ then they are best advised to make a man wait (at least a date or two) for sex. It won’t do a man any lasting harm to wait and if he is interested in you as a person then he will be willing to allow time for trust and respect to develop.

Casual sex is usually about the ego trip
In the long run, most of us find that having sex with someone we know and love adds something special to the experience. But that does not mean that sex and love are the same thing. Sex is raunchy, exhilarating, orgasmic and fun. Love is caring and nurturing. The two can go together or side-by-side but they are different. Women’s sexual expectations in our society are often confused with softer images of love and romance.

Sex education for teenagers (especially girls) should cover not only the reproductive facts but also how they can enjoy a sexual relationship. Most women who experience orgasm do so through masturbation or oral sex. Telling teenagers to limit their sexual experiences to intercourse makes it less likely that a woman might learn how to enjoy her own orgasm. Vaginal intercourse may lead to family but it was never intended to facilitate female orgasm, either physically or psychologically.

“In some cases, it was not even clear to the woman herself whether there had been an orgasm or merely high levels of arousal.” (p199 The Hite Report 1976)

Not every woman is attracted to eroticism and so many women miss out on the sexual fantasies that lead to women’s sexual arousal and orgasm. Shere Hite referred to women’s experience of heightened arousal as ’emotional orgasms’ to differentiate them from real female orgasms. Perhaps the term ’emotional orgasm’ is unhelpful.

Another way of differentiating between women’s experience of orgasm is by asking about the impact of the relationship. Some women explain their experience of orgasm through their relationship and the idea that their partner finds them sexually attractive. Many women never learn to explore their sexuality either through masturbation or through activities other than sexual intercourse and so they miss out on enjoying sexual pleasure and their own sexual arousal and orgasm.

A woman who enjoys orgasm through masturbation can enjoy orgasm quite separately from her relationship because her sexual psychology is driven through sexual fantasies. Each of these experiences is no better than the other but simply different.

Gender and HIV-AIDS – Impact on Education System

HIV/AIDS is as the bubonic plague of our time. Though HIV/AIDS is a talking point on street corners, many people still are not informed scrupulously what HIV/AIDS absolutely means. They are not informed how to keep safe themselves as well. In this regard gender literacy may play an important role to make aware of HIV/AIDS.

Mainstreaming gender touches on the statute, norms, customs and practices thoroughly as the stepping stone to sustainable development. Gender equality defines equality of treatment under the rule and neutrality of opportunity for females and males. An essential fact is that women are always struggling against both a virus and structured discrimination in trying to conquer the threat of HIV/AIDS especially in the developing country.

Women should be made campaign for their fundamental rights. Women living with HIV/AIDS have to be able to develop their inner beings and life skills that they may raise their voices in the face of a huge number of impediments. It results in that they have the courage to face a number of situations which raise the danger of HIV infectivity by way of existing gender discrimination.

HIV/AIDS increases acute threats to the education system over the years. It affects the education programs and projects comprehensively. The principle of present national curriculum has to highlight the learning need issues linked to the HIV/AIDS epidemic prevention, such as general health awareness, safe sex practices, coping with illness and death in the family, lessening discrimination towards people living with HIV/AIDS and enhancing life skills. Consequently it has an integrated impact on ministries, departments, agencies, and policy makers liable for proper scheduling and allocation of education resources and services.

The Ministry of Education has to have a great inclination to take a number of initiatives to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading with the help of NGOs to ensure community people’s participation. In this case some NGOs are already conducting various programs to achieve ‘goal number 6’ of MDG which includes one target related to HIV/AIDS, namely to have halted the epidemic by 2015 and begun to reverse its spread. For example Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation is a non government organization conducting some HIV/AIDS related program. Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation has identified its various advocacy issues through participatory procedure giving main concern to RTI/STD management (including prevention of HIV/AIDS), training, sex education and connected adolescent reproductive health initiatives, qualitative health and related behavioral research, gender-based violence as well as male participation in reproductive rights and gender equity. The aim of these activities is to achieve a HIV/AIDS free Bangladesh.

This is the time for Bangladesh to take strong initiatives to provide HIV/AIDS and sex related education in the school context. Because many people are still traditional, thinking sexuality is a private matter, they hesitate to talk about it and young people have not sufficient knowledge about HIV/AIDS.