“I know what it is, I just don’t know where it is.”
“Can I get a lifeline, please?”
“Are ‘uterus’ and ‘womb’ the same thing?”
These are some of the responses made by five women when Fusion asked them to draw their reproductive systems and the female genitalia. It was one of the those rare opportunities to shine a satirical light on very real problem: the poor state of sexual education in the United States.
If you saw Mic.com’s video chronicling five male employees as they attempted to draw women’s ‘vaginas,’ you know this problem transcends gender. Hand most adults a sharpie, ask them to label an ovary and at best you get a hybrid of an exotic flower and a Texas Longhorn. (Aside: now you know why it was so easy for Georgia O’Keeffe to get famous.) Mic.com took the men’s failure as proof that if a guy can’t locate a uterus, they have no business legislating one. But frankly, our women were not all that more successful. (For the record, they were definitely more adept.)
All this was on our mind as we watched the President give the State of the Union address, saying, “We still may not agree on a woman’s right to choose, but surely we can agree it’s a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows.”
He didn’t mention one very important way that we’ve gotten to these low numbers: sexual education.
And here’s our big news peg: The new GOP-lead Senate is expected to aggressively push federal funding for abstinence-only sexual education. A problem for several reasons: Namely, that comprehensive sex-ed is linked to lower rates of unintended and teen pregnancies, but also that sexual education is instrumental in laying the groundwork for healthy, sex-positive adults who not only know where a Fallopian tube is, but know its function too.