Elizabeth Smart: Abstinence Education Teaches Rape Victims They’re Worthless, Dirty, & Filthy.
This part of health education continues to be controversial, but regardless of personal views, this article raises some important points about empowerment.
Social psychologists and sexual abuse counselors agree that comprehensive sex education can help prevent sexual crimes. Teaching children about their bodies gives them the tools to describe acts of abuse without feeling as embarrassed or uncomfortable, and it also helps elevate their self-confidence and sense of bodily autonomy. A shame-based approach to genitalia and sexuality, on the other hand, sends kids the message that they can’t discuss or ask questions about any of those issues.