Recently, Susan Wilson wrote a blog post on Sex, Etc. lamenting the lack of male sex educators. She cited societal pressures, gender norms, and basic discomfort with males and sexuality as the main reasons this disparity exists. She shared a quote from an administrator who was concerned about male sex educators because they are “teaching to students who are potentially only three to four years younger than they are and in fact â€˜datable’ outside of school.”
Can Men Teach Sex?
This argument worries me â€“ what is it about males and sex that scares people? I’m sure young teachers are just as likely to date someone in their biology class as much as their sex ed class. And why is the administrator more worried about males than females? Shouldn’t we be equally concerned about female sex educators? It really irritates me how males are portrayed as sexual aggressors, unable to resist temptation and needing to be controlled. The spectrum of sexual desire and control is as wide as any other sexual spectrum, and both males and females can be found on it.
Men Who Make Sex Ed Great
But, in response to Susan, here are a few of my current male sex-ed heros:
Bill Taverner â€“ Director of the Center for Family Life Education in New Jersey; his organization sponsors the Sex Ed conference in November. He uses humor to great effect in teaching about healthy sexuality.
Dan Savage â€“ Calls himself an advice columnist, but in reality he’s bringing sex ed to the masses. Love him or hate him, he has his opinions and voices them loudly and clearly, and many love him for it. Started the “It Gets Better” project to help GLBT teens. He also has a great podcast.
T Michael Rock â€“ A minister and trainer for Our Whole Lives (OWL), a healthy sexuality curriculum used by the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalists, he trains folks at every level of OWL, from Kindergarten to Adults. He is also one of the co-authors of the Sexuality and Our Faith books for Young Adults and Adults.
Todd Heywood â€“ A force of nature in Lansing, MI, Todd writes and fights to make sure that people know about HIV and why it is important to continue to talk and educate people about it. He is especially concerned with HIV disclosure laws, and the barriers these laws erect for many people living with HIV. He is longtime leader in the GLBT community, and works hard to make sex-positive communities a reality.
While these are just a few examples of the many men that are doing wonderful things with sex ed, I agree with Susan that we need more. Please encourage the sexy men in your life to teach what they know and get into this amazing field. I know I’m looking forward to it!
Image thanks to Hocine Amrane from Picasa Creative Commons.