Netflix’s “Sex Education” is More Than Just Entertainment

In this scene from the show, Otis talks to Adam about his concerns regarding his sexuality.

In this scene from the show, Otis talks to Adam about his concerns regarding his sexuality.

In January of 2019, Netlix released an original show called “Sex Education,” which follows Otis, a teenage boy, whose mother is a sex therapist. Following in his mother’s footsteps, Otis helps students at his school, answering questions regarding all types of issues, ranging from the students’ comfortability with their sexuality, to sexual health issues that they are facing and know little about. But what happens when students in real life feel they have no one to turn to with these questions?

For some young adults, the show is a better source of information than their classes at school.

According to Eric Bishop, the Howard County Public School System Coordinator of Health and Physical Education, the current sexual health curriculum includes explaining fertilization and the birth process, ways to prevent pregnancy, the risks and consequences of sexual activity, consent, accessing information, communication, decision making, and advocacy. 

However, there are students who discount this statement. Maddy Feldwick, a junior at Wilde Lake, feels that people in the LGBTQ+ community aren’t truly represented in the current curriculum, which they are significantly in the show. “There are potential dangers such as STI’s and HIV that aren’t completely addressed, along with the process of intercourse. Heterosexual intercourse is the only one that’s described,” she says.

Feldwick feels that some things could and should change with the way kids and teens learn about a normal part of life. “I feel the stigma around sex and talking about it could be less intense,” she says. “It would help if it was talked about all of high school and middle school.”

After watching “Sex Education,” another Wilde Lake student says that the show normalized things that they were told are unusual about themselves before. “The characters in the show go through things that are actually normal – some of which I hadn’t known even about myself before watching the show,” they say.

More than just a few students who feel as if they need to reach out for outside sources when it comes to something as normal as sex education. A Wilde Lake junior feels that people don’t really learn a lot from the sex education curriculum. “It doesn’t really teach you what you need to know,” they say, “You end up having to look elsewhere.” They also feel like the curriculum needs to be updated to respond to more modern-day questions and concerns from elementary to high school students.

“Sex Education” has left students feeling that they’ve learned more information about sexual issues than in their own health classes at school. Junior Jet Stevenson feels its time for the curriculum to change, and is confused as to why she is learning more from a television show rather than a required course taught in school. “The show has left me with the vital information I feel that I need to know. Sex Education in school has only taught me the surface-level information. I believe it’s time for a change.”