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Losing It: Sex Education For the 21st Century

Losing It: Sex Education For the 21st Century

If you're on on TikTok, chances are you’ll have seen Sophia Smith Galer appear in your feed. With over 413,000 followers, Smith Galer shares insightful, urgent videos on everything from pasta to the pill to politics, and is known for her bite-sized educational content. An award-winning reporter and passionate advocate for sexual health, her most recent endeavour is her ground-breaking debut book, Losing It: Sex Education for the 21st Century.


Why it's our summer read

Billed as a ‘myth-busting call-to-arms’ that vehemently attacks the falsehoods that have dominated sex education in the UK and around the world, Smith Galer’s work is clear, concise and an absolute must-read. Each chapter focuses on a different sex-related myth, covering a range of topics from virginity to virility. The vast majority of adults in the UK will have encountered many of the issues that Smith Galer describes - after all, when half of a country cannot correctly identify the vagina, it’s clear sex education is severely lacking.

In my own school, we only had sex ed (i.e. were taught how to roll a condom on a banana)
after half the class had started exploring their sexuality and false rumours had started to spread. She explores how culture places undue emphasis on penetration and promiscuity rather than safety and comfort, carefully identifying a variety of damaging misconceptions prevalent in culture before delicately discussing solutions and ways to improve sex education for all. Whilst sex can still be a difficult and intimidating topic, it would be great to see the country move beyond whispering the words ‘vagina’ like they’re in a Miranda sketch and start to openly talk about these important topics.

 

 

@sophiasmithgaler My latest report for you - and it’s a big one. #abortionrights #newsreporter #UKnews #USnews ♬ Blade Runner 2049 - Synthwave Goose

 

Losing It doesn’t just focus on the UK - Sophia explores the stigmas permeating cultures internationally, including falsehoods surrounding virginity, tightness and the hymen. Vaginoplasties, fake blood kits and Kegels are explored in-depth and Smith Galer exposes the companies that are built to capitalise on women’s insecurities, and explores the moral balance between legal repercussions and the freedom of choice when it comes to these operations fuelled by misogyny and misinformation. Whilst we never want to remove women’s autonomy to decide what to do with their bodies, they should never feel pressured into making decisions due to falsehoods and a lack of information.

A must-read for anyone interested in worldwide attitudes to sex, and how they must be challenged in order to make society safer for everyone - a HANX team favourite, and one we wish we had available when we were at school.

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