Sex education in the United States doesn't get a lot of love, but that's more than understandable. From the uncomfortable videos and deodorant goodie bags to the shame-filled discussions of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), it seems like everyone has a sex ed horror story that seems worthy of a "Mean Girls" parody.
Recognizing just how universally bad their sex educations had been, a group of students at New York University decided to challenge the lackluster approach to this oh-so-important subject by posing one question: "If you could give one piece of advice to a younger sibling about sex, what would it be?"
Using the answers from other young people, they created a photo project called #BetterSexTalk -- to offer a bit of the wisdom they learned in spite of their disappointing formal sex education.
"Comprehensive sexuality education is a human right and young people deserve to be taught about consent, healthy relationships and communication — three things I never learned myself," Josy Jablons, co-Founder and managing director of the project told MTV News. "As a survivor of sexual assault, I often reflect on my sex education and on the knowledge I wish I had gained. Hopefully, #BetterSexTalk can spark the conversation so many of us never had."
Hoping to give younger people access to this crucial information is a driving force behind the project, Meghan Racklin, co-founder and director of policy and advocacy at #BetterSexTalk, told MTV News.
"Josy and I both have younger sisters," Racklin said. "We don't want them to have the same experience we did when it comes to sex education. That's really how this started - we know that they deserve better than that, and we wanted some way to make that clear."
Most of the images offer that kind of reassuring advice that you'd get from an older brother or sister, reminding young people that they should always be aware of their partner's comfort level and desires as well as their own. After all, Racklin said that the issue of sex education is "inherently connected to the issue of campus sexual assault."
"Students need to be learning about consent and communication, and healthy sexuality well before freshmen orientation if we're serious about ending campus sexual assault, and, moreover, if we're serious about giving young people the tools they need to be emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy," Racklin said. "Young people have a right to information about sex, about their bodies, and about sexuality."
You can see even more photos from #BetterSexTalk on their Instagram.