How about if we just show this one video in all sex ed classes?

It would be such an improvement over what American schools teach now!

Although…it doesn’t really get around to teaching about sex much, does it? It’s mainly about how stupid and destructive sex ed policies are. We need a second video. It doesn’t need to be very long — when you get right down to it, the basics of sex are simple. Any suggestions?


  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Aside from the biological aspects of sex (which needs to be taught also), there is the emotional aspect, which this film attempts to address succinctly.

    Maybe not in the video linked, but in the rest of the Oliver piece, he showed a vid of an “abstinence only” lecturer saying “if someone touches you… walk away!!!!! …” All commands at the person getting touched, to move away. never a comment to the toucher about, “Don’t touch unless asked. Don’t assume your touch is wanted. Ask first.” Oliver was presenting it for disgust, but left the part I just said as only for inference.

  2. Dark Jaguar says

    Important commentary, though for my part the most uncomfortable part of sex ed was the assumption that I was totally into it. For someone like me, the basic biology is the only part I actually understood at all, and I’ve gotten along just fine with only that.

  3. k_machine says

    Norwegian public TV channel NRK did a series of shows on puberty: Pubertet (NSFW, there are English subtitles available). Part 8 goes through sex in particular.

  4. Gregory Greenwood says

    I just finished watching that episode of Last Week Tonight (it was on last night in the UK but my job being the way it is I was asleep at the time and so recorded it) and it really was excellent, and took no prisoners whatsoever when it came to the ignorance only crowd.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    I noticed that they avoided the 408 kg simian in the enclosed space: religion. It wouldn’t take that much effort on the part of Oliver’s researchers to find that “abstinence only” programs are being written and supported by the Bible-beaters.

  6. says

    BTW – under the Bush administration the federal government spent $400mm on abstinence sex ed (that was documented on the white house’s page regarding faith-based and community programs) basically, it was a handout to churches. It’s harder to tell what’s happened under the most transparent administration evah but I doubt any politician would completely turn off a money-valve once it’s been opened.

  7. wondering says

    Hopefully this is not off topic, but this is what caught me in the first 4 minutes of the video: “You wouldn’t accept a history class not being historically accurate.” Except that we do! History is white washed by the winners. The history of people of colour, women, and other marginalized people is typically either erased, ignored, or twisted to suit the stories that we want to tell and the faces we want to wear. It may have made for a funny joke, but the historical accuracy of history education and the medical accuracy of sex education are both under siege.

  8. leftwingfox says

    1: Sex is how most living things reproduce.
    Talk about cells and genes, and that gametes are cells used to make offspring. Explain how they combine, through basic anatomy (and perhaps even about intersex and transgender people at this point), and talk about puberty, menstruation, PIV coitus, and pregnancy.

    2: Sex can feel great.
    Mention that people can have sex because it feels good or for emotional reasons, not just to make babies. Talk about homosexuality and bisexuality, perhaps gloss over the details of the mechanics until they’re older. I think talking about masturbation and a rough idea of kink/fetish is probably important here. Discuss consent in detail. Good place to mention asexuality as a normal state.

    Sex can be dangerous.
    Pregnancy, STDs, and sexual assault. Talk about protection options. Also a good place to talk about relationship expectations, and societal backlash.

  9. Nightjar says


    1: Sex is how most living things reproduce.

    Nah, I wouldn’t say that. It is very likely wrong, whether you look at it in terms of biomass or biodiversity. There are a lot of bacteria and archaea around, plus many single-celled eukaryotes.

  10. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    You know your sex ed is royally fucked up when the sex ed provided by nuns at a catholic school in the nineties still makes you look like an anti-sex lunatic.

  11. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    I get that it’s a comedy show but it really glosses over the birth control options part; when Jack McBrayer is telling you to Google the different forms of birth control the list is shown for barely a few frames. Much like sex education itself, birth control access for teens can vary a lot by region. And while condoms are arguably the most accessible and comprehensive in terms of STD and pregnancy prevention, they’re not exactly the most foolproof for those new to sex, who may not plan ahead, or are simply unwilling to use them.

    On the front line of forward-thinking ideas (albeit one so progressive that it would possibly cause Mike Huckabee’s head to explode at the mere thought of such liberty-quelling outrage) there are public high schools in Seattle that offer free IUDs without parental consent for students under nineteen. But normally it’s nowhere near that easy, much less that independent of parental involvement, a big hurdle to good sexual health for so many teens. Worse, when it comes to something as practical as STD prevention, only two states and D.C. require the HPV vaccine for their schoolchildren, and D.C. only mandates it for female students.

  12. Excluded Layman says

    So, I decided to see what wisdom the comments held. It’s not so bad at first, but then you hit a PUA explaining that “no means no” will deprive some men of sex, because “token resistance”. Fortunately, people aren’t letting that slide, and there are a lot of great responses. Unfortunately, he’s too arrogant to accept what they’re saying.

    I can’t link to specific comments, but you’ll know it when you see it.

    But I do feel like it’s a good point he inadvertently raises: Consent education needs to specifically address this idea that pressing on in the face of a no, even at a reduced intensity, is somehow not coercion. And that a “yes” from such tactics is likely a self-sacrifice to escape. (Outmoded jurisprudence notwithstanding.)

  13. Dark Jaguar says

    A sex ed class that focuses on the mechanics, the biology, consent, prevention, and tolerance would be good. Sex ed already covers that sex “feels good” and that masturbation exists and is “normal”. I mean, mine did.

    I am not particularly interested in getting into “kinks”. That’s… just not really necessary, nor is getting into “technique” or anything of the sort.

  14. Ms. Ann Thrope says

    The shit hole state I live in (fucking Florida) teaches abstinence only sex ed.
    My daughter told me that she knows she should wait until she is married to have sex. I told her that is bull shit, and I bought a box of condoms & a banana so she would know how to use them.