Forget chocolate and cheesy Hallmark cards. Valentine’s Day is a day to remind us to tell the people we love most how much we care about them. And if you have a teen in your life, Valentine’s Day may offer be a perfect opportunity to have “the talk.” Never an easy topic to broach, but the producers of the documentary, Let’s Talk About Sex, are making it a little bit easier. This Valentine’s Day, the documentary will become available on Hulu free of charge.
Let’s Talk About Sex is a documentary about what we are teaching — or failing to teach — our kids about sex. The film offers some clues as to why we are so stuck, and how we might move forward. In addition to telling stories from pregnant and parenting teens in Los Angeles to mothers and daughters struggling to communicate to gay teens building a life for themselves, the film offers a basic analysis of where we are and points to where we need to go.
And (self-promotion plug), the film does a really cool job featuring a research project on sexuality that the ACLU commissioned from the linguists at Real Reason where we tried to figure out why policy makers are so reluctant to set good sex education policy when poll after poll shows that Americans, in every corner of the country, want their public schools to prepare young people to make healthy decisions by teaching them both about waiting to have sex and using contraception effectively.
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Basically, Real Reason looked at how we talk about sexuality and found that as a culture, we seem to understand sexuality as either:
- A contaminant — Think: "dirty" jokes, "filthy" language, "polluted" young minds, or someone’s mind being “in the gutter;”
- An external force, specifically, an opponent. Think: lust-driven adolescents who are the victims of their raging hormones and sexuality is a threat that must be controlled.
No wonder we’re so freaked out and can’t talk to our kids about sex so they can make healthy decisions as they move through adolescence and on to adult relationships.
Let’s Talk About Sex asks us to move beyond these negative understandings of sex, get passed the cultural discomfort, and do better by our kids.
So grab the Valentine’s Day box of chocolate and invite the young person in your life to watch the movie with you to get the conversation going.