The unfounded fear that young children will somehow become “impure” if they learn about a dirty subject like sex is deeply rooted in American culture. Our society assumes that human sexuality is dark, dangerous, and shameful — something we need to protect teens from, rather than teach them about. Teens consistently learn that it’s not okay to talk about sex because it’s supposed to be totally off-limits to them, constrained to the bounds of a traditional marriage. But this attitude has led to disastrous consequences: damaging women and LGBT Americans’ sense of sexual self-worth, fueling the STD epidemic, and creating a moral environment where rape culture has flourished. Americans desperately need to overhaul our outdated approach to sexuality, replacing our puritanism with an open, honest, nonjudgmental, sex-positive attitude that we work to instill in our kids from a young age.