8:10 AM Sitting in onion rows, in the back of the amphitheater, the students are expelled. All in the second grade of Oberlin Vocational School, they know right away that the next two hours, this Friday morning in February, are going to be a little “special”. “I invite you to come down and get closer to me,” asks Dr. Chloé Blum, after very gently pushing the teachers towards the exit. Sexologist and perineum specialist Chloé Blum has been working since 2018 at the request of this Strasbourg branch via the Info Ado platform. His role: to address sexuality and everything around them, without taboos.
Prevention and “sensitive” topics
“First intercourse at 14, normal or not normal? “, she says, to break the ice. “Bah yeah”, “bah nan”, melts in a barely audible voice. “Well, there is no standard. It’s up to you to say when you’re ready,” replies Chloé Blum, before continuing. “A 2-minute report, normal or not normal? “Not normal”, replies the most daring, with a smile. “Again, there is no standard. The only standard is the law. You need the valid consent of both people,” she introduces, before explaining the concept, emphasizing the “valid” side of consent. Divided into three parts, his intervention aims to address in two short hours the general aspects of sexuality, prevention – the use of contraceptives for women and men – and more “sensitive” topics, which are usually covered under the rug. pushed by the national education, such as homosexuality, sexual pleasure generated by the clitoris or orgasm, female and male.
“Girls, do you take the pill in the morning or in the evening? “Awkward silence. The chance for Dr. Blum to come back and review other methods of contraception such as the IUD or the implant, “most suitable for a teenager”. On the condom application side: “I’m not going to show you on a banana, it’s more like 1980”, Dr. Blum smiles. “You have to squeeze the bubble, we roll out and we go”, she sums up. Before recalling that its use is both a contraceptive and a shield against the various STIs and STIs. “If we suck, can we get diseases?” ventures one student. “How do you know you have AIDS? without irony.
The ice is now in a thousand pieces. The sexologist uses her second degree and self-mockery. “You will be very disappointed, because I have no limits,” the sex therapist slips to a visibly joking student.
I never say vulgarities from the beginning but then again I take them back when they are used so they see that nothing scares me but also that I use the same language as them for sessions without taboos
dr. Chloe Blum at ASAPP
9:30 in the morning. In a flashy pink envelope, Chloé Blum draws a few words, which she previously wrote on scraps of paper. “Lube”, “HPV” – only 2 out of more than 30 students say they have been vaccinated – “clitoris”, “porn”… “We don’t look at it, it’s for over 18s”, laughs one student. “I’m not going to tell you not to look at it. Just that it’s not reality. For example, the vulvas are redone very often. Other words flirt with the well-known taboos: “incest” or even “virginity before marriage” .
“A third of women don’t have a hymen,” she explains. “Looks like those who ride horses don’t have any more,” says a young man. “Yes, that’s true, but it’s also enough to cycle on the cobblestones of the Grand Rue. The hymen is super fine,” she says, before confirming “there’s no way to know if a woman is a virgin either.”
“I knew nothing about contraception”
Some concepts, far from acquired, should probably be for 15-year-old teenagers. “I didn’t know about birth control, nor about most of the things she discussed,” admits Julie
, visibly better informed at the end of the session. The young woman and her friend Leslie, who usually claims to get information on Youtube and Tik Tok, leave with clues to their future contraception. “It’s worrying that they don’t know that in high school,” laments Dr. blum. However, since 2001 and the Aubry Act, sex education has been mandatory in schools, colleges and high schools, at the rate of three annual sessions. But “they are largely under-delivered both quantitatively and qualitatively,” points out a 2021 investigative report from the #NousToutes collective, which warned presidential candidates about the issue.
This is, on average, the number of sex education sessions claimed by the 10,938 respondents to the national survey of sex education sessions conducted by #NousToutes… against 21 scheduled at least during education. This would explain the blatant lack of knowledge about sexual and affective relationships, gender equality or gender-based and sexual violence, which are nevertheless essential.
These figures can mainly be explained by the reticence of certain schools, which are under pressure. Sometimes delicate topics, such as those discussed by Dr. Blum during this session, some parents find it unpleasant.
Misunderstandings and Prejudice
At Oberlin High School, the implementation of these annual interventions seems more than important. “There are prejudices, misunderstandings, issues related to sexuality and that makes free speech possible,” said Mr. Schindler, deputy director. “They were funny and messy enough to be dynamic,” delights the sexologist. I’m not here to say we have butterflies in our stomachs, we’re in trouble because they’re old. †
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