I remember the sixth grade health class. Mrs. Harrison slapped up posters of the female and male reproductive systems and people started snickering instantly. Things only got worse when the cheesy health movies came on, and no one could erase the memory of her using a banana to demonstrate how to use contraception.
I get it. It's hard not to laugh during sex education class. Despite the fact that everyone lets a chuckle escape their lips sometime during the course of the curriculum, no one wants to be the one who can't stop laughing. Somehow it seems...dorky- as if you don't understand the birds and the bees.
Have no fear. By the time you are done with this article, you will have no trouble holding your laughter inside.
Prepare ahead of time
Have you ever watched a funny movie too many times? I have. The first time it is hilarious because you aren't expecting the jokes. The second time it's still funny because you are anticipating the jokes. The third time it is still funny, but you don't belly laugh quite as hard. The fourth, fifth, and then sixth time, you are wondering what was so funny in the first place.
The same goes with sex education. You have to get geared up for it- read the books, watch the movies- and make it so it is so predictable, you know what's coming next. In order to do this, you have one of two options:
1. Go to the library and rent any and all cheesy sex education movies and books. Get accustomed to the cartoon drawings, the flowery language, and the horrible production.
2. Ask your health teacher if you can borrow her supplies for an extra credit project. She might think you are on drugs and send you to the principal, but if you can pull it off with a straight face, she could acquiesce.
Avoid eye contact with your friends
This seems obvious but is your first and primary defense against busting a rib in laughter. Stop looking at your friends! Avoid their strange faces, raised eyebrows, and goofy grins. Better yet, sit in the front row so you won't be tempted to stare them down when Mr. Garris says the word "erection".
Get to know your teacher
Sometimes it isn't the material that elicits the laughter, but the person who is communicating it to us. If you have the idea that this person shouldn't ever speak of sex or reproduction because they are just too strange, well you might have a hard time keeping a straight face when they do.
Think about it. When your friends talk about sex, you don't cringe or throw up in your mouth, but when an adult does, you might. If you spend a little time getting to know your teacher as a person, it might not seem so awkward and strange to hear him or her talk about it in front of the class.
Gross yourself out
If all the above doesn't work, you may find the only way to not laugh is to think sickening thoughts that give you the creeps. Focus on something that is unpleasant about what the teacher is saying- perhaps ovaries look like the rotten kiwi you ate for lunch- and the laughter should stay at bay.
While your teacher is talking, take out a piece of paper and a pen and aimlessly doodle on your notebook. This does two things. One, it keeps you from making eye contact with others. Two, doodling is a way to keep the body busy when absorbing information. For example, some kids find that chewing gum during a test helps them to concentrate.
Now don't go doodling a penis or your laughter will come bubbling up. Rather, doodle flowers, a cat, a dog, whatever. Something that forces your brain to think about the image while simultaneously absorbing the information about how to avoid an STD. You'll be less likely to laugh.
Strike a deal
Don't arrange this in school okay? It's against the rules.
Get your friends together and set the parameters. The first person to laugh owes everyone a dollar. Or maybe you all put $5.00 in a jar and at the end of the curriculum unit, whoever kept a straight face the whole time gets the money.
When you put something on the line (like money or other freebies), you'll find you have a lot more motivation to stop laughing...or in this case, never start laughing.
If all else fails...
You may need some private acting classes. Sometimes, it is just too hilarious for the amateur. Find an acting instructor and get the best Broadway can offer you. If you work hard, you might be able to endure a sex education without laughing.
Then again, maybe not. Maybe sex education is supposed to include laughter. The whole thing is rather funny. That is my only other piece of advice. When you stop trying so hard to not laugh, you might realize that a few chuckles are better than the immense energy you'd have to expend trying not to laugh.
Stephanie Henkel from USA on December 08, 2012:
Back in the dark ages when I was in high school, what passed for sex ed was taught in girls' health class. They never did explain how the deed was done (somehow we all learned, anyway) or how to avoid pregnancy...it wasn't hard to avoid laughing because nothing remotely interesting or useful was going on. Loved your hub, and I'm sure that today's pre-teens and teens will love it!
Ruchira from United States on December 06, 2012:
Went to a convent thus, missed out on this. But, these tactics sure make sense to avoid a scene ;)
Good one, Julie.
Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on December 05, 2012:
Oh My that was so long ago Julie and they didn't teach things like they do now.. they didn't show the movies etc. we had to learn on our own..lol.. my mom wasn't a big help either.. she didn't want to talk about it.. this is a great hub
sharing and pinning
Jay Manriquez from Santa Rosa, California on December 05, 2012:
I remember during class someone started passing a note around and students started smiling and gigling after reading the note. Within a matter of seconds the entire classroom was gigling causing our instructor to find out what was going on. So in a fury she takes the note and reads it and then, as hard as she tried, cound not suppress a big smile. You see the note said, "If you had sex last night, SMILE!"
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on December 05, 2012:
Hehe. Yeah, so I took a class called "Patterns of Human Intimacy" from a professor in college who had green teeth and kept using "cohorts" - yeah, all these years later that image is STILL stuck in my mind. I love the "striking a deal" part. Hehe. I'd lose my butt on that one! :D
chrisinhawaii on December 05, 2012:
Wait...but I never actually made it through health class. Oh well, I got kids, so I guess I learned the main points.
LOL or maybe I should've paid more attention during the banana sex scene
Pete Fanning from Virginia on December 05, 2012:
I think I was too scared in sex ed class! Great hub, voted up!
Janine Huldie from New York, New York on December 05, 2012:
It has been a long time since I took since ed class back in the day, but loved your article here and to be honest, I definitely laughed a bit, but then again who didn't!!
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on December 05, 2012:
I wish I had known how to keep from laughing when I was in school. I still remember, our teacher skipped lessons because boys laughed and girls were reddened.
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on December 05, 2012:
Hahaha... I predict a lot of pre-teens are going to search and find this hub. Good stuff!
Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on December 05, 2012:
Very cute. I think, up until last year, my 18 year-old would giggle whenever she heard a word that could even be mistaken for something sexual! Thank you for sharing this.
KrisL from S. Florida on December 05, 2012:
Oh. My. A trip down memory lane to my high school days when any mention of sex could set me and girlfriend off into 10 minutes of laughter.
Russ Moran - The Write Stuff from Long Island, New York on December 05, 2012:
I went to Catholic schools a long time ago. Sex Ed? What's that? Well done and funny Hub Julie.
Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on December 05, 2012:
I used to get put in the hall for laughing, talking aloud and saying crazy stuff while the films were running:) hahaha. I guess that's why I never got to see the banana presentation? Idk!
I couldn't NOT laugh!