Planned Parenthood Next Generation puts on sexual education event

An audience member at "Not Your Middle School Sex Ed" hosted by the Central Michigan University Voices of Planned Parenthood studies a sample IUD Feb. 21 at Anspach Hall.

Community Outreach Educator for Planned Parenthood Devin Lagasse stood ready to talk about a variety of sex topics at Not Your Middle School Sex Ed while students gathered on Feb. 21 in an Anspach classroom. 

Organized by Planned Parenthood Next Generation, the event was created to educate individuals on various sex topics. 

Throughout the event, Lagasse showed and explained different types of birth control methods. She brought out objects such as birth control pill packs, female condoms and a copper IUD.

Along with these visual examples, Lagasse showed what she was discussing with the use of a display of a uterus and a penis. With these displays she showed how to use female condoms, male condoms and other forms of birth control. 

Alpena senior Sara Strohschein said she came from a “close-minded” school and did not know certain aspects of sex. 

“I didn’t know how to put a condom on properly," Strohschein said. "They don’t teach us that in high school like I mean when you don’t have the education you kind of learn yourself.” 

Lagasse divided the different birth control methods into four different sections: hormonal, barriers, behavioral and surgical/permanent. Lagasse went to discuss each section and highlighted important side effects and background information for specific methods. 

Walled Lake senior Lorielle Walker felt she learned more than what she was exposed to prior to the event. 

“As far as my experience there was always something they (sex education instructors) didn’t want to go too deep into in fear of offending someone or not being sure or just not really probably understanding how to have a conversation,” Walker said. “I’ve never had like an in-depth experience such as this one.” 

The audience members were active in discussion asking questions on birth control like how hormones affect a person’s mood, how long different methods are effective for, and what types of hormones are used. 

The event also highlighted inclusive sex education. Spectrum, an LGBTQ group a part of CMU’s campus, spoke to the audience about LGBTQ sex education with a brief presentation. 

Portage senior Katie Chizek and Garden City sophomore Christina Schwochert started presenting with defining terms like gender, sex and sexuality.  Then, they went on to discuss levels of attraction including asexual, aromantic and demisexual. The two focused on the term demisexual, which refers to someone that can only feel sexual attraction for someone after forming a strong connection. 

The pair also spoke about virginity and someone losing their virginity does not necessarily have to be with penile penetration. For LGBTQ individuals, losing their virginity can be done in other ways. 

As for the future of sexual education, Schwochert believes there is a lot more about LGBTQ sex that individuals need to learn. 

“I hope the audience basically realized there’s a lot more to sex education than just like the cis-het normative kind of education that is normally taught in schools nowadays,” Schwochert said. “There’s a lot more to be learned in regards to consent and LGBT related sex."

Walker enjoyed Spectrum’s conversation and got a better understanding of LGBTQ sexual education. 

“I think it’s great they had the conversation, they started the conversation about the LGBTQ community and how they can take certain steps to do whatever they need to do and really educating everybody tonight about what sex for the LGBTQ community looks like,” Walker said.