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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Talking about Sex in the classroom

It is true that the maximum time an average person can concentrate is very less. The period spent concentrating is refereed to as Attention Span. There are two types of attention. They are focused attention and sustained attention. Focused attention is known to be very brief but sustained attention is the longer span of time when one is able to concentrate. The literature on this says that most healthy teenagers are unable to sustain attention on one thing for more than 40 minutes. Within the 40 minut time span one needs to re-focus repeatedly on the same thing many times. This ability to renew attention permits people to "pay attention" to things that last for more than few minutes, such as long lessons.

Now what is important in a classroom for a teacher is to gain the attention of the students. At the College of Education we were taught many ways to gain attention but what they didn't teach us was how to retain the attention we gained. It is easy to gain focused attention but to get sustained attention  is a challenge. When one is teaching in a class of 40 students and when it is the last period of the day sustaining sustained attention sometimes becomes a difficult job.

I was talking with a friend of mine and she shared her opinion and the strategy she uses to renew the attention of her students. Sex she said is the most interesting topic to our teenagers. It is a fact and we can use it to our advantage in the classroom when it comes to gaining sustained attention or simply keeping them awake to re-focus on the lesson.  She says "sex" works miracles and everyone becomes alert in the class because their hormones respond to the idea of sex effortlessly. It works like ticklish tiny electric shocks which keep their minds focused and sustained. Non-veg jokes are her refreshers. She would try to relate her lessons to sex or attraction, for instance opposite ions attract to each other like boys and girls while teaching chemistry.

Teaching Sex Education to our teenagers is very important and she achieves that objective as well. She teaches chemistry and biology and her favorite topic in biology is the reproductive system because the students are attentive. Teaching sex education through jokes helps her renew the attention of her students and sustain them. Making fun of condoms and making them aware of its purpose is achieved.  She also gets the feeling that her students look forward to her classes as they discuss things that they are curious about.

I remember, as a student I use to enjoy my economics class because the teacher would share stories which were interesting to us as teenagers. He would talk about the laws in economics and the law of attraction between the opposite sexes. He would compare and contrast them.

Though such a strategy is effective in the classroom, it is very important that a teacher respects the line between him/her and the students. A teacher should not over do with this tool of gaining attention. Students are teenagers and they will unintentionally cross the line. Like anything that is overused becomes mundane and in this case disruptive, one should use this tool carefully. 


  1. A good post, Nobu. You are right. Something related to sex and romance raises the hormone of teenagers. As you said, teachers have the burden, when they use it to increase student's attention, to make sure that their strategy doesn't cross the line. Our society is more liberal but in other societies, even a mere mention of such ideas would be labelled as sexual intrusion and harassment.
    haha..I remembered how we used to be extra attentive when we taught about "changes" relating to reproductive system and adolescence and secondary developments, etc. All would, especially boys (because they are more open) would have their ears and eyes wide open when the time for the science subject on "changes" came. LOL
    Keep writing...

  2. Do you think that attention spans are decreasing? I often wonder if this is something that can be taught, or perhaps it's just a good teacher who can use the tools you mentioned in this post to keep the attention of their students.

  3. @ Langa - Thank you for your comment, I think mention of sex and the arousal of excitement go hand in hand like lovers in the classroom. And like you said our society is liberal and I think that helps a lot. However, in my case I have not resorted to this tool. I am doing fine with the humor attached to my height, my wife and friends.

    @ Lynda - Thank you for reading. Yes, I wish if we could teach students to be more attentive in the classroom but I am not aware of such tools, may be I should google on it. And thank you for labeling the teacher as a good teacher, I will let my friend know.

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