The Sex Word

Talking about sex isn’t like talking about sports, or the news, or the weather but maybe it should be. When the topic of sex is breached in conversation people generally squirm in their seats, chuckle nervously, and use a lot of throwaway phrases (“well, you know…umm…it’s just, uh…”) instead of just talking about it.

While society has become much more open about discussing sex in recent decades, for many people, sex is still something they’d rather keep private. In today’s changing world, young people are becoming much more open about a wide variety of issues – including sex. Fourth year Health Studies major Aletha Bagod has found that her opinions about sex have changed since coming to university.

“In high school we were very shy about it. As soon as I got to university, in my first year, it became a lot bigger. I mostly ignore it now, but it’s still pretty big all around campus. Look at ‘Sextravaganza’, for instance.”

Even high school students are finding that, with the changing times, sex is being discussed more and more. Tenth grader Emily Wood discusses her experiences with the issue.

“If you’re looking for it, it’s not all that hard to find. I’ve never had sex and neither have most of my friends, but I know a lot of people who have. Depending on who you hang out with, sex can either be seen as a good thing or a bad thing.”

Despite this, some feel that discussions about sex still need to be more open. Rebecca Godderis teaches Gender, Sexuality and Health at Laurier Brantford. She states that society needs to become more open in discussing sex.

“There are really limited opportunities to respectfully discuss sex. Today most people learn about sex from advertising, music videos and things like that. There’s little room in today’s society to talk more broadly about sex and sexuality in a way that goes beyond stereotypical representations of sex.” Stephen Iverson, Reverend of Brantford’s St. Andrew’s United Church, takes a similar position.

“Sex, politics and money, those are the three unspeakable in society. With younger people though, there’s a great desire for openness and frankness. In many cases, they can’t talk about it at home. There needs to be a lot more communication with the younger generation about sex.” Bagod explains how she personally feels sex is represented around campus.

“People aren’t very emotional about it. They’re more likely to talk about something embarrassing or funny that happened to them during sex than anything personal. That makes it seem like it’s less of a big deal. Personally, I don’t really think that it is.”

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