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Monday, June 06, 2011

New column: "When It Comes to Sex Education, There Are No Stupid Questions"

I was late so my column, "When It Comes to Sex Education, There Are No Stupid Questions," which mentions my friend Ellen Friedrichs, abstinence only craziness, Joyce T. McFadden's book Your Daughter's Bedroom and Violet Blue's The Smart Girl's Guide to the G-Spot, ran this week instead of last week; next week's will be up on Wednesday, June 15th, and that night is the Big Jewcy party at Brooklyn Winery!

A little excerpt:

At the same time, I’m grateful to have even gotten some of the basics. I wasn’t getting it on in high school, but I was curious, and with my first partner I had to investigate various forms of birth control on my own. States and towns are continually battling about how best to education their children about sexual safety. The Illinois Senate recently passed a bill mandating that contraceptives be added to the curriculum for grades six through 12 (currently, they’re only required to teach about abstinence as a form of pregnancy and STD prevention). According to the Chicago Tribune, “Sen. Dan Duffy, R-Lake Barrington, argued that teaching students anything more than abstinence would encourage them to have sex.”

This argument comes up repeatedly and always sounds like the most ignorant thing in the world to me. Not only does making abstinence the standard not work for those who aren’t going to choose it, it also means that those who are having sex, or are simply curious about it, are going to have fewer people to ask questions about sex. It makes them feel like there’s something wrong with them for having those desires. News flash: there’s not. We should all be angry that those who want to promote abstinence as the best method for teenagers can’t open their eyes enough to see that not everyone is going to follow that rule.

Furthermore, the shame, ignorance and misinformation that can brew in those who are just starting on their sexual journey is dangerous. Central Florida Future guest columnist Anna Eskamimi writes, “My high school's sexual education program revolved around us, the students, being made scared to have sex. I remember, quite explicitly, hearing premarital sex compared to used bubblegum — ‘Who would want to chew used bubblegum?’ — was our guest speaker's main argument.”

Please read the whole thing and if you like it, spread the word (there are buttons at the top, or feel free to reTweet me or @SexisMagazine, always much appreciated)!

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