#31. SEX ED! …for 4th graders

Let’s talk about sex, shall we?

Are ten year old boys and girls too young to learn about condoms and vaginas? Then California Governor Pete Wilson didn’t think so, and I think he was right. I knew a lot about sex even when I was in the 3rd grade. Partially because I had an older brother and much older cousins, but also because one day my dad bought us a three inch thick Random House Encyclopedia with pictures. The “R” section was the most worn down from studying and restudying the medical-style drawings of the female body under “Reproduction.”

Check out the boobs on that! It sure beats: biblical Renaissance paintings of breastfeeding women found in my mom’s art books, or topless barbies:


Can you blame me for making this connection as a nine year old?:

Talk about putting it on a pedestal!

Also, the whole reproductive process always just looked like tadpole gang activity. The egg is always about to get jumped by a million sperm. Run away egg! Save yourself, they’re coming after you!

OK… went on a tangent there… back to the sex ed experience.

All of the fourth graders were separated into two classrooms by gender, to watch the awkward government issued sex videos with their 60 year old female teachers. The guys’ video had a title like “Billy’s Journey to Adulthood.” I can distinctly remember the part where they tried to explain what a wet dream was:

Narrator: “Billy likes Sally. A lot. Every time he thinks about her, he starts to feel hot and nervous. Last night, Billy had a dream with strong feelings for Sally [transition into this shot]

and had a wet dream.” THE END.

Once I found out what a wet dream really was, I was like wow Billy, a walk on the beach did the trick for you, eh? Really?

Once the video finished, the teacher really had nothing else to say, so we got to go to recess early. While the boys all gave each other the ‘what the hell just happened in there’ stare, we noticed that the girls were still in class watching their video.

Suddenly, off in the distance we see them strutting towards the playground all in a row, each holding what looked like party favors. We opened their bags with them to find small wrapped packages that turned out to be pads and tampons.

“Ahh! Luuucky! We didn’t get anything!”

With the sex ed class finished, our homework for that evening was to read the booklet version of the video with our parents out loud from cover to cover. My dad always worked late, so I had to read it to my mom. It was hell for several reasons. Well, there’s the obvious reason, but aside from that, I had to do a good acting job and pretend that I didn’t know anything about sex. I also had to complete the homework assignment without being detected by my brother to prevent further humiliation.

I took my mom to the only safe hiding spot in the house: the tiny book closet at the top of the stairs. I never made eye contact with my mom and instead focused intensely at the words in the booklet. We had to go over EVERYTHING in detail, including diagrams covering the physical changes that occur during puberty that looked something like this:

Then came the big moment. Reading the description of what intercourse was to my mom. My face was already flushed even before we got started, but now my voice was quivering the same way your voice shakes when you’re trying to plead your case to your parents after crying for an hour straight as a kid (minus the snot).

“Se-sexual, in-ter-course… is when a man, in-serts his p-p-pe-nis into the woman’s va-vagina.”

The whole process was probably the most awkward moment I ever had with my mom. Looking back I could have totally avoided that painful experience altogether. Just don’t do the assignment! We didn’t need a parent to sign off on it, so there was no way to check for completion. I was just too obsessed with getting good grades. I nearly had a meltdown once I got my first B at the end of that first semester.

… also looking back I remember being very confused by how it was possible for girls to pee and poop at the same time.

My logic worked like this:

1. Boys can pee standing up or sitting down.

2. Boys poop sitting on the toilet.

3. Since pee comes out from the penis, boys can pee and poop at the same time.

4. Girls don’t have penises.

5. Girls always sit when using the toilet. Therefore, they must pee out of their butt.

6. Conclusion: If girls have to pee and poop at the same time, it must come out of their butt as a gross mixture of both, sorta like bat guano. Duh, everyone knows that!

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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3 Responses to #31. SEX ED! …for 4th graders

  1. Pingback: #32. Fun with calculators! | Retro 80's Kid

  2. Jenny Baran says:

    From the female perspective, the girls had to watch a video about periods and I remember thinking “Oh no. I can’t believe this is in my future.” Immediately after the video I realized what was in my future was reality for some of the girls in my class because some of my friends “came out” to me by saying “That’s what I have.”

    Too much too soon? Hell yes, but since some of my 4th grad classmates were already “developing” and getting their monthly gift, it made sense.

    On the bright side, it did do an excellent job of explaining the reproductive system, where babies really come from and how the whole process works.

    Fortunately, at my public school there was no homework assignment for us 😉

  3. i didnt recieve my talk till 5 th grade but i remember receiving pads and deoderant

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