#WhyCare – Dylan
Many years ago, I was working with a rural school district that needed support in planning their sex education programming. A nurse shared the life-altering experience she had while working in a clinic in southern Michigan. This #WhyCare – Dylan story points to the need for sex education to be a protection against shame and undiagnosed disease.
A teenager–let’s call him Dylan–came into the clinic because he was having trouble seeing. After examining the youth, the doctor realized Dylan had a type of vision loss that must have been worsening over a long period of time. When the doctor asked Dylan what kept him from coming to the clinic for help sooner, he replied, “Someone told me that you go blind if you masturbate, so I was too ashamed to tell anyone I was going blind.” If Dylan had asked for help earlier, his vision could have been saved, but now the problem was so advanced, Dylan would soon be blind.
The nurse who told me this story said she is driven to make sure this never happens again. This story has driven me, too. I am driven to make sure children receive accurate information that is delivered in a positive manner. That is why I wrote Puberty: The Wonder Years for grades 4, 5, and 6.
As you think about this #WhyCare – Dylan story, ask these questions:
- How did ignorance and shame impact this young man?
- Why do you think myths and misinformation about sexual behavior are still plentiful?
- What can you do to help children and youth get accurate information about sex from reliable sources?
Take one concrete step:
Ensure that Puberty: The Wonder Years is available. Are your local schools implementing the curriculum? Learn more.
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