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Sex education is the process of teaching someone about the basic functioning and safe operation of the human reproductive system. Most Westernized countries have pretty good Sex Ed, but the Bush administration didn't, because he liked "abstinence programs" because they were more moral and stuff.
Europe, especially the more developed parts of it, have government mandated sex education, and the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe was involved in writing the guidelines for sex education. According to the WHO, it has been stressed that "sexuality education should start from a child’s birth". They emphasize the importance of comprehensive sex education to address issues including teen pregnancies, sexual violence, and sexually transmitted infections. Switzerland is notable for its acceptance and even encouragement of sexual behavior. The religious groups in those parts of Europe are also more tolerant, as the Catholic Church intervened little in Switzerland's AIDS prevention program. In France, teens are required to get 30 to 40 hours of comprehensive sex education, and there are even handouts of condoms. Of course, compared to the U.S., Europe has higher... wait, lower instances of teen pregnancies, and HIV (data is limited for sexually transmitted infections in Europe).
If you have the unfortunate case to live in the wrong country or if you're just curious, for a real sex education, consult a few or all of the following authors, all of whom have a great deal to say on the subject that doesn't call it dirty or pornify it:
- Dr. Alex Comfort -- The Joy of Sex, etc. Opened a wide world to healthy, fun sexuality.
- Tracey Cox -- Author of Hot Sex and Hot Relationships.
- Betty Dodson -- Author of Sex for One and promoter of masturbation, both solo and mutual. Now professionally partnered with Carlin Ross, a lawyer and feminist sex activist.
- Robie Harris and Michael Emberley -- Authors of a series of kid's books on sex and the body, including the wildly popular and controversial It's Perfectly Normal.
- Laci Green -- Online sex educator, creator and host of weekly Youtube show Sex+ directed towards teens and young adults. The show focuses on topics such as body image, gender, sexual orientation and sex-positivity, with an informal approach. As of 2017, her material has started to pander to the alt-right and she's dabbled in too much transphobia to be comfortable with, but most of her old videos are still relevant.
- Nina Hartley -- Porn star, registered nurse[note 1] and producer of sex instruction videos.
- Anne Hooper -- Author of numerous glossy sex guides published by Dorling-Kindersley.
- Paul Joannides -- Author of The Guide To Getting It On, an exhaustive doorstop of a book that should be required reading for anyone considering sexual activity.
- Dan Savage -- Author of the syndicated "Savage Love" sex advice column, liberal political activist (remember Santorum?) and alt-weekly newspaper editor.
- Annie Sprinkle -- Former porn star and sex education researcher and advocate.
- Tristan Taormino -- Sex educator and feminist pornographer. Her "Sex Out Loud" radio show is available as a podcast on iTunes.
- Dr. Ruth Westheimer -- You've heard of Dr. Ruth. Everyone has heard of Dr. Ruth. Sex For Dummies is actually really good.
- Scarleteen.com and Go Ask Alice - online sex-ed resources for teens/young adults.
These writers are all likely to give you a better perspective on sex than some Federally-mandated, quasi-religious "don't do it" program. Otherwise, look at this:
- The 5 Most Important Things They Never Taught You in Sex Ed - from Cracked (November 4, 2014)
- World Health Organization. 20 October 2010. New European guidelines on sexuality education: experts say sexuality education should start from birth Retrieved December 7, 2014.
- Agnvall, E. May 16, 2006. In Western Europe. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
- Adolescent Sexual Health in Europe and the US Retrieved December 7, 2014.
- http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove - collected columns are also available as "books"