Sex Education

Traditionally, education focused more on school activities and acquisitions of skills. Just as mentioned in the keyword essay, “The oxford English Dictionary thus defines the term as ‘the systematic instruction, schooling, or training given to the young in preparation for the work of life.” Forms of education varies: Some types of education are better taught explicitly such as basic skills and literacy education; while some types of education are best taught implicitly such as moral standards and ethics. However, some special type of education such as sex education might require both, but it was difficult to achieve. 

In a Netflix original series Sex Education, teenager Otis is a particular interesting character to discuss. Otis’ parents are both sex and relationship therapists and hence growing up, he was explicitly exposed to more sex knowledge than his peers. Seeing his knowledge as an advantage, he started practice informal sex therapy for his peers in high school. However, ironically, Otis suffers from sexual dysfunction due to his childhood witness of his father’s affairs, which is a implicit education. Receiving the correct education in both forms is crucial for healthy development. 

Just like Mountain Wolf Women, she learnt how to farm in different season by watching her family and explicitly taught. She also learnt about family values during such activities. No education can be done well in solely explicit or implicit way. Issues should be talked openly just as example should be set correctly. 

9 thoughts on “Sex Education”

  1. Hello there. I love the show too especially the mother played by Gillian Anderson. Anyway, I definitely agree that domestic education plays a major role in children’s education both explicitly and inexplicitly. Not only what parents directly teach their kids through words and actions matters so much, but also what they show to the kids behind their backs. In the show Sex Education, it is tough for Gillian Anderson’s character to place the right education in her domestic households with how her job is involved with so many moral, ethical, social lines, but what makes this show so fascinating is the high stakes it brings and the experience Otis has trying to imitating her mother’s work at school. It is obvious that her mother’s job and personal life certainly have a large impact and reflection on Otis’ choices.

    Family dramas always seem to be pretty popular among various networks regardless their genre, and those amazing shows such as Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects, and My Brilliant Shows illustrate once and once again how and why domestic education is so crucial to children.

  2. Hi Li,
    I have recently watched the episodes as well. As soon as I knew that I wanted to dive deeper into the keyword “Education”, this drama immediately came in my mind. However, I had a hard time finding the connection between the stories we’ve read and Sex Education. I really liked how you related it to the kind of domestic education.

  3. I personally loved this show as it deals with sex education in a positive light as opposed to showing it as an embarrassing manner. I think your description on Otis’s experience with sex education is very accurate as he is very knowledgable in this area of expertise by being exposed to these information at a very young age. However, he is affected greatly by witnessing his father’s affair as well as his mother’s very active sex life with different men. This is very important to touch on because we do have to constantly reminding ourselves that education does not just happen in a formal setting but could occur in daily lives, and children are actually very sensitive to everything that is going on around them and are able to pick up small details very easily. We have to be careful of what we teach them, whether we intended to or not.

  4. Li,

    I really agree with your argument about how education can not be presented in its entirety in a solely explicit or implicit way. I also wrote my blog post about education and think that it is a very important topic, especially within American Girlhood.

    I thought your connection between this educational process and the one in Sex Education was very interesting. This gave me an alternate perspective of the importance of education. Education is an amazing concept in a sense that it is found in nearly every place in the world, and is something that never ceases to exist.

  5. Thanks so much for your post and ideas, Li! I wrote a research paper on the history of sex education last semester, and was thinking about a lot of the social norms and expectations I studied around sex and sex education to youth. Domestic education played a huge role in the greater societal implications and education for children outside the household from what I studied, and I think your post really hits on that idea strongly with some great evidence and examples. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Li –
    I really like your different choices in the different types of educations available. Though there are many things to educate someone on, there are many variables that can change the way this subject should be taught. For example, age, topic, and setting can all influence what the best way to educate someone is, and I think your example of sex education proves this and the implications that come with it if not done right.
    In Mountain Wolf Woman, her education is done in a hands on way, learning by example rather than formal instruction. I think in her case, this is the best way to teach these skills of actual work, but also family values. In today’s society, values are formally taught in school settings but I do not think this is affective. I think values should be continued to be taught like this and as you said, discussed in an open matter.
    – Sarah

  7. Li, I’m a huge fan of this show, and I love how you connected it to education. It is true that Otis is taught things implicitly and explicitly similarly to Mountain Wolf Woman and it’s interesting to see the correlation over different cultures and time periods. One other keyword that came to mind when thinking of the series Sex Education was that of Girlhood. Although the main character, Otis does not identify as a girl, he has certain features that could be considered “feminine.” Contrasting him is one of the supporting characters, Maeve who does not display many features that are represent girlhood nor is she feminine. She is not delicate, pure, or innocent as the keyword essay describes girlhood to be, and we see Otis embodying these principles a lot better than Maeve at times. This creates an interesting contrast between what the word “girlhood” used to mean in our society, and how it’s being reshaped by different mediums.

  8. Li,
    This is certainly agreeable and I really liked your connections! Prior to this class I never really thought about the ways in which we learn, I always saw learning as an institutionalized concept. Your example from Sex Education and Mountain Wolf Woman were eyeopening and enjoyable as this idea that learning is not explicit or implicit has been all throughout history of young adults. These connections give this historical view and a fun contemporary view that people our age may find more relatable! Great post!

  9. I really liked your description of teaching a child in implicit and explicit ways. I’ve never really thought about the two different ways my parents or my school was teaching me. But now looking back I can see how it happens both implicitly and explicitly. After reading your post and thinking back on how I’ve been taught in both manners, I completely agree with you receiving both forms of education is crucial for healthy development from child to adult. Essentially we need to be taught in both of these ways to be prepared for adult life, most importantly in an implicit way at times because being “book smart” won’t get you through every situation and at times could put you at a disadvantage. Where you said getting both forms of education puts a child at an advantage. One last comment, I found it very interesting how you linked Mountain Wolf Woman to Sex Education on Nexflix, I would’ve never seen the comparison but you did a really nice job bringing the two together to talk about education forms!

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