We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the most incorrect thing they learned in sex education at school. Here are the wildest responses.
1. The person who believed condoms were square-shaped.
"Sixth grade. All-girls school health class. Teacher showed us a condom, but never took it out of the wrapper. It wasn't until I moved and starting going to a co-ed school in ninth grade that I learned, from a classmate, that they weren't square."
2. The person who was taught masturbation causes hairy palms.
"My school was oddly anti-masturbation. We were taught old wives' tales about hairy palms and going blind, but also that sperm was limited, and once you were out that was it."
3. The person who was taught wet dreams equaled puberty.
"Wet dreams! It had such a focus in sex ed in elementary and middle school. It was explained in a way that made us think every boy has them and that it's a sign of puberty — but it's definitely not. I've never had a wet dream, and I'm almost 30."
4. The person who was very misinformed.
"My ninth grade health teacher said that if you have sex for more than half an hour, your vagina will dry up and get little holes torn in it. She followed this with an offhand comment like, 'I’ve been there; it’s not good.' Girl??? Are you OK???"
5. The person who learned marriage equals STI protection.
"Getting married makes you immune to STIs. Thanks, Indiana."
6. The person who was taught childbirth is always beautiful.
"I learned, ‘Childbirth is very painful, but it’s also the most beautiful day in a woman’s life.’ I guess this teacher had good intentions. It may be your fondest memory, but it may also be traumatizing. Childbirth can go wrong. Also, some women just don’t want to be mothers, and that’s OK."
7. The person who was taught that all sex is painful.
"It happened in the sixth grade. We were 11 or so, and a kid asked the science teacher why women scream when they have sex ("Is it because it hurts?"). She answered: "What do you think?" as if that was why, and we were horrified. We didn't know you can scream from pleasure, so we all got the idea that sex hurts."
8. The person who was given incorrect statistics.
"That every different penis that enters the vagina increases your risk for cervical cancer. Something about different shapes making your vagina more susceptible? I think the (male) teacher said having sex with more than five penises makes you almost guaranteed to get cancer."
9. The person who learned anatomy but not consent.
"While I received a clinically detached, scientifically accurate explanation of the reproductive system, I didn’t get anything about consent, non-hetero sexualities, enjoying sex, being OK with not enjoying or wanting sex, or more than two minutes on contraception/safe sex."
10. The person who learned that abstinence was the only way to be safe.
"That abstinence is the only way to be safe. Also, every time you had sex with someone, you were having sex with the people before them — like a pyramid. At least they taught us about STDs and how to get tested."
11. The person who was given misinformation about STIs.
"1. That getting tested is only for people who are promiscuous or actively have symptoms of an STI. 2. That women in same-sex sexual relationships can't get an STI. 3. That HIV was the only STI that couldn't be cured with an antibiotic."
12. The person who didn't correctly learn about condoms.
"We were taught that condoms don’t protect against HIV, only abstinence can. They told us the HIV could go right through the little holes in the condom, and it offered no protection."
13. The person who was taught some very confusing anatomy.
"I learned the hymen is like Saran Wrap over the vagina. When I asked, 'Well, how do we get our periods?,' the teacher thought for a little bit, then made this drawing of different ways the virginal hymen’s holes for periods may present. You know those pasta shapers that can make spaghetti, rigatoni, etc.? Those remind me of her drawings. Funnily enough, she was one of the sweeter teachers in my school, but damn lady, YOU ALSO HAVE A VAGINA."
14. And the person who was given too little information about anatomy.
"We were taught what the reproductive systems looked like, but they never taught us how to locate the vagina hole. I believed for too long that my butthole was also my vagina."
15. The person whose health textbook perpetuated wrong information.
"Our health textbook in the late '90s said that gay men who were tired and 'achy' should be tested for AIDS."
16. The person whose health teacher was super wrong about pregnancy.
"I was taught you could get pregnant from a toilet seat."
17. The person who was taught sex as a stereotype.
"I was taught boys give love to have sex, and girls give sex to get love. SO not true!"
18. The person who was taught about the wrong holes.
"That you can get pregnant from anal."
19. The person whose education put too much emphasis on penetration and nothing else.
"Penetrative sex is the most intimate form of sex that exists. There was no indication that oral sex would be as emotionally complicated as it was. There was no discussion whatsoever about the sexual spectrum, and everything was taught from a very heteronormative POV."
20. The person who basically received zero education.
"I went to an all-girls school, and we learned NOTHING about boys aside from 'P goes in V and makes BB.'"
21. The person who learned all the wrong things about masturbation.
"Using a tampon would mean I wasn't a virgin anymore and that masturbation would ruin the pleasure that sex could provide when I got married."
22. The person whose education placed too much emphasis on the hymen.
"School and some ladies from my church who taught young girls said you'd lose your virginity when the penis breaks the hymen — no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The HYMEN is what determined it, but of course, only for the gals, right? No talk about the hymen being broken in little girls from bikes, perforated hymens, non-existent hymens, hymens that never broke or tore, nothing. Hymen busted from penis ONLY equaled no longer virgin. Imagine my surprise when I didn't bleed from sex my first time..."
23. The person who needed a better teacher.
"My eighth-grade health 'teacher' told us you got AIDS only if you ate monkey meat. 🤦♀️"
24. And finally, the person whose education failed them on queer sex ed and safety practices.
"We got absolutely nothing on queer sex education, or any info on how to be safe. The lady just showed up and was like, 'Don't have sex, or you'll get STDs and die!' Also, she shamed people who have had their nudes leaked, and left."