Socio-Sexual Education Is Best Addressed as a Field of Study

  •  Paul A. Wagner    


Sex education typically claims to be value free. The focus of attention in this article is that sex education represents an extraordinary “teachable moment” for helping students consider the qualia of human engagements at a multiplicity of levels. Qualia is a term for the feel and hence the value of experience. Learning about the process of copulating machinery reveals little about the “feel” of sexual experience.

Sex education should address issues students will continue to confront for the rest of their lives. Typically, students seem to waffle their way through sexually relevant encounters. Allure and fear are relevant emotions students should be mindful of when considering socio-sexual engagements of any kind. Consequently, rather than focus exclusively on sexual behavior and its consequences, educators should focus on what I have previously introduced as socio-sexual education. Socio-sexual education involves game-theoretic considerations but goes further than mere cost/benefit analysis. Socio-sexual education should focus student attention on understanding of sex and social engagements generally. People live in and through their experiences and not as mere spectators of some narrative in which experience is written about. Learning to understand socio-sexual experiences allows subsequent social and sexual adjustments for improving lived experience over a lifetime. Sex education then should broaden to socio-sexual instruction and reflection.

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