I knew the word “sex” from a young age (I thought it was taboo to say that word out loud), but wouldn’t have been able to explain “the birds and the bees” until around 9th grade. My parents were also too self conscious and conservative to explain concepts like that to me and my siblings. At this age, I would have been considered asexual according to the bitchmagazine article. Prause and Graham define asexuality as a deficiency in sexual desire.
I don’t know if I would necessarily agree that kids are asexual because they don’t have an understanding of the “mechanics of life”. Rather, they are just ignorant, and that doesn’t correlate with asexuality. There are many arguments about which category children fall under. Of course, it is very difficult to quantify results like this when you don’t have a definitive explanation for the meaning of “sexuality” or results will vary based off the age of puberty and other biological/ environmental effects.
When reading the articles, the main thing that I got was that people (I’m focusing on the media in this case) can’t decide on the sexual or asexual nature of children. So they do the most logical thing, they bombard children with highly variable commercials. For instance we might see a steamy ad about cologne (which apparently needs topless men and women to get the point across) alongside a commercial about baby milk formula while showing a baby and the mother’s bosom.
Children are confused about sex. The media is like that ex that sends you mixed signals. I don’t know if the confusion is ever cleared, but after reading the 1986 Emory Report, I feel that Emory was very practical about teaching this. They were trying to remove the ignorance. RAs and coordinators were coached on appropriate discussions.
As awkward as talks can be, this is important. Some people can go their whole lives without being exposed to a natural biological process- reproduction is a way of maintaing the population, I think societies view on this topic needs to be reevaluated. Even the people who do have an understanding may not have been introduced to safe sex methods. Obviously Emory starting this program and the articles we read weren’t related, but it’s interesting seeing that our university had the foresight to see a problem (the articles were written in 2007 and 2012, Emory implemented the program in 1986).