Why even adult women can benefit from sex education
If you're lucky — and we use the word loosely — your first introduction to reproductive health was in elementary or middle school during those cringeworthy sex education classes where the boys and girls were separated into different rooms for videos and a Q&A with the health teacher.
But where do you go to get your sex and body questions answered as an adult? Sure, there's plenty of information out there, but how do you really know what to believe — and what to ignore?
Jessica Biel wants to help. The actress — and new mom of baby Silas Randall Timberlake — is launching a new series of "unfiltered" online sexual education videos geared to help women both young and old understand their bodies.
"I was in a school play, wearing a gray beard and this pad the size of a skateboard and thinking, What is happening to me?" Biel told Glamour of the confusion she faced as a pre-teen when it came to her changing body. "We want girls to know what their [body is going through] so they don't feel scared or ashamed or gross."
But the videos aren't just geared toward teens. Adult women can also benefit from sex education.
"Suddenly I realized I really didn't know what's going on inside my own body," Biel, 33, said of the confusion she faced when she decided to get off birth control to conceive. "It was shocking."
The project is a collaboration with Saundra Pelletier, the founder of the nonprofit health-care organization WomanCare Global. Pelletier has worked to help women in developing countries take charge of their bodies through contraception, but after talking with Biel, she realized that comprehensive sex-ed is just as needed in the United States.
"More than half of our nation's pregnancies are unplanned, and just 22 states require public schools to teach sex education," Pelletier told Glamour. "Jessica and I realized we can help change this."
And yes, we can all benefit from more education, even if we think we already know everything about sex. Because, honestly, despite all of the information — and misinformation — out there, we need a few refreshers from time to time. Or maybe you have a question you're too nervous to bring up to a doctor because you're afraid. There's no harm in that and if these videos can help, it's a win-win.
Said Pelletier: "There is power and dignity in understanding your body."