The Reality of Female Sex Education and Common Misconceptions

Oct 22, 2021

The lack of sexual education when it comes to women and their bodies is alarming. If you happened to receive any education in school sex-ed classes, it was likely based on gender stereotypes and a brief overview of the part and mechanics. Nothing to do with pleasure and no addressing the common misconceptions or beliefs.

“It is the lack of education, the lack of empowerment, and the enforcement of these outdated stigmas that keep women from making good, safe, informed decisions about their sex and pleasure.” - excerpt from The Pink Canary

In the United States, only 20 of 52 states require sex education to be medically and factually accurate (pink canary). The severe shortage of sexual education, especially surrounding women’s health and wellness, leaves a lot of women feeling lost and falling victim to many common misconceptions, some of which we’ll address below.


Having an STI means you did something wrong

STI’s are far more common than we think. They’re like a cold - when you catch it from someone else you wouldn’t be ashamed. The same goes for STI’s. 

STI rates are on the rise, however only 20% of women feel comfortable enough discussing their sexual health issues with their doctor. 

Shame is a normal feeling when it comes to STI’s but it shouldn’t be. If you’ve contracted an STI it doesn’t make you dirty or gross, and if anyone has made you feel that way they are in the wrong.


Your Vagina Looks Weird

Let’s dismiss this one right off the bat. 

Firstly, the vagina is on the inside of your body where you’re unable to see it. The body part being referred to in this statement is the vulva. Secondly, the statement is a complete myth.

All vulvas are different - from the colour to the size and hair distribution. Unless you have a medical condition that has been assessed by a doctor, your vulva is completely NORMAL. The fact that society and the media has us believing otherwise and trying to convince us to buy products or get procedures that change the look of our vulvas is utterly ridiculous. The number of vaginal rejuvenation procedures even increased by 22% from 2016 to 2017 (stat in The Pink Canary). 

We see what the vulva “should” look like in porn and anatomy books, but those don’t showcase the wide range of normal vulvas that women actually have. We only see a fraction of types of vulvas and assume ours is “weird” because it looks different. The reality is, just like penis’s come in all different shapes, sizes and colours, so do vulvas. 

We need to start accepting our body’s and vulva’s as they are. Normal.


The Best Sex (for men and women) is Penetration

When 75% of men and only 29% percent of women orgasm from penetrative sex, that’s a key indicator that penetrative sex is not the best kind of sex.

Sex is so much more than just heterosexual, penetrative sex, however we’re constantly exposed to pornography and narratives that showcase it as the gold standard. 

Why? Because female pleasure is left out of sexual education. The clitoris (the only organ created just for pleasure) isn’t addressed when we’re learning about sex. We have been taught that because men most reliably orgasm with penetration, then by default, women should too.

The fact of the matter is, only 1 in 3 women reliably orgasm from penetrative sex, leaving 7 in 10 women feeling like there’s something wrong with them when penetrative sex doesn’t cut it for them. Partners need to explore and see what works for each other.


You Can Tell When a Woman Loses Her Virginity

Biologically speaking, there is no way to determine if a woman has lost her virginity. This myth refers to the woman’s hymen and whether or not it’s intact, however this narrative is false and misleading. 

The hymen is a membrane that partially closes the vaginal opening, with the configuration of it being different in every woman. It has no known biological function, and is definitely not for determining virginity. In fact, some women are born without a hymen, while others lose it naturally towards the end of adolescence. If there every is bleeding during the first time a woman has vaginal sex, it’s more likely due to small tears due to lack of lubrication and arousal. 

Besides the fact that the idea of virginity is a social construct, there is absolutely no way to determine whether or not a woman has lost her virginity. 


Sex is a Drive

Contrary to what we often hear, there is no such thing as a “sex drive”. A drive indicates something that is essential to our survival like hunger or thirst. But the thing is, no one’s ever died from lack of sex

The reality is that for the majority of women, the longer they go without sex the more they get used to it and the less they want it. And when stress comes into play, it decreases interest in sex for 80 to 90% of people as well. More than 50% of women report stress, depression, and anxiety decrease their interest in sex

It would be more realistic to think of sex as a type of reward or type of motivation. If it’s good you’ll want more, if it’s mediocre… you can go without. 


Sex Re-Education

These common misconceptions are just a few myths that many women have been convinced into believing are fact. The sex education that is currently in place and promoted throughout our lives needs to be addressed and significantly changed, especially when it comes to women and pleasure. 

The Pleasure Collective is a coaching community and sexual health and wellness re-education program for women. Dr. Jordin empowers and educates women about a range of topics, including sex education.


For more insights on the common sex-ed misconceptions, listen to episode #24 on Apple or Spotify where Dr. Jordin dives deep and breaks down these myths even further.


Information has been taken from The Pink Canary: The Hidden Secret to Optimum Health for Women by Dr. Jordin Wiggins.


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