Sex Ed in the Backseat
In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked our own moms to tell us what they learned about sex. Meet D’s mom, 57, a journalist who lives in a small rural town in the northern Midwest.
D: Where did you learn about sex?
Mom: The boys in the back seat–at least that’s where the detailed info came from! During my senior year in High School (public, ’70-’71) they showed us a movie in our PE class about a baby being born. I was embarrassed that they would show that, but I was curious about the subject and so watched attentively. I don’t remember that the movie or teachers ever actually said anything about things like body parts or how the baby came to be inside the mother. I was very curious and wanted to know more so I tried to do my own research to find out more about sex and body parts. I had never seen a penis. I looked in Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and all around the library to no avail.
D: Did you ever try to ask Grandma?
Mom: My cousin got pregnant out of wedlock when I was a young adolescent. I was confused and asked my mom, “How can she be pregnant if she’s not married?” My mom said, “You’ll find that out after you get married.” (note: Ironically my mom got pregnant by my father and had to get married to him as a result.) My mom had mentioned periods to me, and my Girl Scout troop had been shown a movie about getting your period.
At around the same time that my cousin got pregnant there was a huge media hoopla about a local 12-year-old girl who had gotten pregnant. Our whole Catholic school was taken into the gym and shown a movie about St. Agnes being martyred–she was killed for refusing to have sex with a man. The movie was terrifying and brutal. I was so scared of the entire subject and ever since have had a bad reaction to the name Agnes.
We invite you, if you’re a mom, (or are even just the cool, approachable older adult to some lucky kid), to tell us how your own sexual upbringing has influenced your relationship with your kids. Or if you’re another writer, please send us your story or link to Moms in Babeland. We’ll draw a winner at random from all the posts and links we receive and send the lucky recipient a MiMi vibrator. You can give it to your mom!
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