I came across this article some time ago and was recently reminded of it. I've been thinking about what I wanted my next blog post to be, and being reminded of this seemed kismet. I have focused the large majority of my training on sexual abuse because, as I'm sure at least some people guess or assume, I was sexually assaulted. Heck, I am one of three daughters, so with my mother included in the math, you can reasonably assume one of us was since 1 out of 4 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. For me, it was at 3 years old, and then again at 19, and again at 20. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. And meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison (www.rainn.org/statistics). Multiple studies have shown higher rates of revictimization if you are sexually abused as a child. I don't know about you, but all of those statistics make me sick. But I'm not here to talk about the statistics, or my assault history, or the legal/social/moral injustices in this world when it comes to rape and sexual assault (that will come in another post at some time, I'm sure). The reason I even bring it up is because I believe so much of this problem can be traced back to, or solved by, sexual education. I'm not saying anything here that is new or hasn't been said before. We tell our daughters to watch out, to stay aware, don't drink too much, don't wear revealing clothing, learn self-defense, carry mace, etc. etc. etc. But we are not the problem. We aren't luring the men in just so we can say no. Now don't get me wrong, just because the majority of sexual offenders are male does not mean the majority of men are sexual offenders. Unfortunately, sex offenders give men a bad name, unfairly. But nevertheless, the reality exists that we live in a rape culture that is largely perpetrated by men because of a lack of honest and real education. This program in Canada, Wiseguyz, is teaching middle school-age boys the real facts about sex. They talk about masturbation, pornography, myths, consent, even homophobia and same-sex curiousity. They confront topics like masculinity and the hyper-sexualization of women in the media. The discuss what healthy relationships look like and what emotional abuse looks like too. These boys get to ask questions and share their thoughts and learn what sex should be...pleasurable, loving, consensual. When I was a little girl I was introduced to the world of sex long before I should have been. But it was never talked about. I don't blame my parents, although I did for awhile, but I understand now that they were doing what they thought was right, that was how it was back then. They thought I didn't remember, and even as I was hitting puberty, that type of honest communication just wasn't something that occurred in our family. I had to learn about sex in my own way, and goddess knows I definitely fumbled my way through it. I knew the basics of STDs and birth control, but I knew nothing of pleasure, of communicating my wants and needs to my partner, of what was "normal" or not. I applaud Blake Spence for creating Wiseguyz, and I wish we had similar programs here in America. For such a "forward-thinking" nation, we really are ass backwards in some things.