CNN reports that on Monday, the Democratic presidential candidate took a stand for sexual education in the United States. During the Iowa Brown and Black Forum at Drake University on Monday, Sanders answered a question about sex ed and teaching affirmative consent in schools by saying that "we really do need a serious national discussion about sexuality."
Sanders also reportedly expressed his opposition to abstinence-only sex education as well as his support for women's reproductive rights, a stance he shares with fellow Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
"I think that obviously women have the right to get the contraceptives that they need," Sanders said. "When sexuality is an intrinsic part of human life, we should not run away from it. We should explain biology and sexuality to our kids on a factual basis. Period."
Indeed, the middle and high school years are a time when it's crucial for teens to receive comprehensive, honest and unbiased sexual education. Yet many people will attest that the sex ed programs in their schools have failed in this regard.
According to a Centers for Disease Control report from last year, a median of only 17.1% of middle schools and 45.5% of high schools covered all of the CDC's recommended sex education topics, such as teaching students about condoms and other forms of contraception. Meanwhile, while almost all schools (93.9%) taught students about the benefits of abstinence, less than 60% bothered to be like, "BTW, this is how a condom works."
Considering the fact that teenagers are wont to bang each other (because, in the words of sex-positive-grandpa-you-wish-you-had Bernie Sanders "sexuality is an intrinsic part of human life"), these numbers aren't great. But the fact that we at least have a presidential candidate like Sanders acknowledging this failure of American sex ed is a tiny bit encouraging.
Perhaps his new slogan should simply be Feel the Bern and Sex You'll Learn.