Last January, Netflix released the show “Sex Education,” a show about a young teen named Otis who is coming of age in England. Although he doesn’t have much experience with girls, he does have experience with sex ed; his mom is a sex therapist who uses their house as her office. Otis has a best friend, Eric, who helps him navigate through life in general and deal with his mom being a sex therapist.
Throughout the season, Otis meets Maeve — a smart, independent bad girl — and together they decide to start their own sex therapy business for students at their school, teaching sex ed to their peers in an unorthodox way.
As I was watching, I couldn’t help but think about what this show has to do with real sex education, especially in the United States. The students take a sex ed class at their school, but instead of bringing questions to their teachers, parents, or mentors, they choose to go to Otis.
Teens are too embarrassed to ask questions.
Every time Otis and Maeve talk to a client, they use the old abandoned bathrooms at their school. Otis talks to the person between stalls, so they can’t see each other. This goes to show that teens are ashamed to ask questions about topics dealing with sex. They don’t want Otis to know who they are, and they want to keep it a secret from their friends that they’re asking questions about sex in the first place.
This is interesting because the show illustrates the different levels of honesty between friends when talking about sex. The characters in the show tend to talk with their friends about sex in a shallow sort of way, usually revolving around rumors and gossip, but they’re afraid to ask questions or talk about real problems they have. That’s why they go to Otis.
Establishing an open dialogue with parents and mentors about sex is vital.
All of the teen characters in this show have questions or problems dealing with sex, and they choose to talk to a slightly-informed high school boy about everything.
The students feel more comfortable talking to someone their age about their problems instead of an adult. As a parent, you should be able to talk to your children about important things that might make both of you uncomfortable, and you should also be able to listen to your kids when they have problems and are worried or anxious.
When it comes to learning about values and information about sex, parents are the biggest influencers in what their children know. Sex education needs to be taught at school, but it should also be taught at home. Both parents and kids could benefit from having an open dialogue about sex, sexuality, and health.
Parents should be involved in their children’s sex ed, but not TOO involved.
Otis’s mom, Jean, is a sex therapist, so in terms of sex ed, she wants to help Otis the best that she can. Sometimes, this is useful — Otis knows accurate info about sex, and that’s why he can start his own sex therapy business.
However, as the plot continues, viewers realize that his mom is a little too involved in Otis’s sex life. She constantly is attempting to ask him about how his relationships are and how his own sex life is going.
It’s good for parents to have an open dialogue about sex with their children, but if they become intrusive into their teen’s life, it’s very probable that their kid, like Otis, will instead not want to talk to their parent about personal things at all.
What We Should Take Away from “Sex Education”
For a lot of young people, most of what they know about sex is learned from TV. That’s why shows like “Sex Education” are extremely beneficial in normalizing sex talk and promoting youth to have conversations about sex with mentors, parents, and friends.
If you have any questions regarding sex or sexual health, you shouldn’t have to turn to a student sex therapist for answers. Ask a parent or a mentor about things you don’t understand.
You should feel comfortable asking questions and finding answers about sexual health. Don’t rely on the internet or gossip for accurate answers to your sex questions; talk to a doctor, mentor, or parent. What you do with your body is your choice. But whatever you do, don’t do it in the dark.