Sex is probably one of those things better learned at school than on the internet – the key word being probably, because John Oliver did a hell of a more serviceable job at it on his most recent episode of Last Week Tonight than most schools ever achieve.
Oliver’s segment highlights everything that’s wrong with sex ed South of the Border – the disparity between curriculums in each state, abstinence-only policies, and that Mississippi, the state with the second-highest rate of teen pregnancy nationwide, doesn’t allow for students to put condoms on produce – inviting a celebrity cast to offer some pretty informative lessons along the way.
A cameo from Breaking Bad Mike is especially awesome.
The issue is equally relevant here in Canada, of course, following the announcement of Ontario’s new sex ed curriculum earlier this year – the first amendment to the program since 1998, well before sexual orientation and gender identity became mainstream topics of conversation. These issues are now covered in the classroom, while concepts like consent, contraception, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and online safety are taught at an earlier age to be in line with education in other provinces.
While the shift was met mostly with support, a very outspoken minority rigorously opposed the changes and threatened to keep their kids out of school. For some reason, parents were in fact granted the right to withdraw their kids from all or part of the new curriculum if they’re uncomfortable with its content, a concerning denial of essential education Oliver says people actually need to know about for the rest of their lives – unlike, say, calculus.
The painfully outdated sex PSAs alone are worth the watch: