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Sex Education Season 4: A Journey into Complex Identities

Netflix’s Sex Education Season 4 Might Be Its Most Important Season Yet

Season 4 of the popular comedy-drama 'Sex Education' is out. It's a show I love, mostly due to just how relatable it is. While previous seasons have explored the trials and tribulations of puberty in high school, this season tackles the challenges of college students.

It's a weird time when you're 17. You're given much more independence than before, and you have the chance to learn to drive a car, yet you're not an adult yet. It's a time when you are truly starting to understand who you are. The show doesn't hide this at all. There are people going through all different kinds of identity understanding, whether that's who they are sexually attracted to or what gender they believe they are. This will be quite jarring for some viewers. This season is very 'woke,' but that's been done on purpose. While the show isn't literal sex education, it is produced in a way where you're supposed to learn from the characters and apply it to your own life.

Having nearly no straight characters in college won't be everyone's cup of tea, but this isn't trying to be a realistic portrayal of college. The point is to learn and understand more about gender beliefs by showing the many different forms they come in. The season particularly focused on people who have transitioned sexes or are still in that transitioning phase. For example, I had no idea of the aftereffects of taking testosterone for the first time or how hard and expensive it is to have top surgery. More and more people are questioning their own identities; it's not something that is going to go away, so no matter what your opinion, it's important to at least try to understand how difficult it can be for people.

Perhaps my favourite part of the season surrounds Jackson Marchetti. His character has lesbian parents. While he has always been a big part of the show, they've never really delved deeper into what having gay parents can be like. In the show, he discovers a lump on his testes. When he goes to the doctor, he's asked questions about his family history and if there's any illness that runs through the family. This makes him start to question where he comes from and who his biological father is. I personally went through the same thing. I have lesbian parents and also started to question who my biological father was after finding a lump. He's unsure what to say to his moms. You don't want to upset them, obviously, but he also wants answers on who he is and where he comes from.

While Jackson's part was very interesting, the show didn't go as deep as I would've liked them to. In the show, it turns out he isn't a child of IVF treatment, but instead, his biological mother was having an affair, and that's how she fell pregnant with Jackson. For me, this is incredibly lazy from the producers. They didn't truly explore how children can find their biological father. There are charities that will help you to find your father, but there is one big issue with this. If you were born in 2001 or before, you cannot find your father. Back then, donors were protected by law, meaning their identity must be kept a secret. All I will ever know about my sperm donor is that he was a university student studying maths at Manchester. That's it, and the law won't change that. I personally have come to terms with this and don't really care about it, but for a show targeted at teenagers, I think they would've caused someone in my position more issues than answers.

This season is meant to be the last of the show and, in truth, is a great way to end it. I'm not sure what else they could really do to continue the series without it starting to feel stale. Most of the issues the characters faced have now been resolved or brought to a stage where there aren't any glaring questions that need answering. You can keep your Breaking Bad; Sex Education is Netflix's greatest show.


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