By the time I entered my junior year of college, I was convinced that Binghamton University had only three kinds of guys. There were the players. There were the boys who were saving themselves for marriage. And there were the ones who learned about sex from my mother.
A biological anthropologist, my mom taught Intro to Sex and Evolution, which focused on everything from mating systems in the Animal Kingdom to why women go through menopause. Pretty much every student in the life sciences took it. Those who didn’t heard stories of the professor with the sign in her office that read: My biggest fear is that there is no PMS and this is my personality.
Thus, at the age of 19, I could flawlessly explain the mechanics of seahorse sex, but had only a vague notion of how it might work between two humans. I feared getting into an intimate situation only to have word of it get back to her, or worse, hearing her clinical scientific explanation of it in my head. And if a guy ever mentioned sex and my mother in the same sentence, forget about it. Keep reading »
Meet Katelyn Campbell, a high school student council vice president, Wellesley College-bound senior, and sex education rabble-rouser who is filing an injunction against her principal for threats he made after she boycotted and spoke out against an abstinence-only sex-ed assembly at her school.
According to ThinkProgress.org, Principal George Aulenbacher at George Washington High School in West Virginia threatened to call up Wellesley College to complain that Campbell had “bad character” because she refused to attend the abstinence assembly and filed a complaint with the ACLU because the public school event was hosted by a conservative religious organization.
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Abortion foes in the Arkansas State Senate passed a bill yesterday to ban certain funding grants to Planned Parenthood. The chosen grants heading to the chopping block? Sex education. Which sucks, because Planned Parenthood provided the state’s sex ed.
According to Think Progress, Arkansas lacks a codified set of sex education requirements, which is why Planned Parenthood stepped in to do HIV/AIDS and STD/STI education in the state. A Republican health education teacher, and assistant football coach, Darrell Seward, told the Huffington Post over the phone:
“I would challenge any legislator or politician in the state of Arkansas or higher to set foot in my classroom and listen to the curriculum and walk out and say it’s a bad program. This program has been one of the most well-received programs that our students have ever been engaged in. I am a Republican, but this is one issue I feel very strongly about, because I see the benefit for our kids.”
So why take away these funds? Well because the bill’s sponsor doesn’t like any state funding to go to any organization that has anything to do with abortion or abortion referrals. Keep reading »
Abstinence-only education starts with the idea that teenagers listen to adults and manages to get even stupider. It’s working to turn the only life-threatening problem in the world that can be fought by balloons into a biblical plague. We’ve reached a point where even the Pope OKs some condom use, and he thinks about sex the same way non-Popes think of the Ark of the Covenant: imagining what the other side has while believing that looking directly at it will melt the soul from your body.
Abstinence-only education turns sex education into an oxymoron, deliberately not teaching people things we know about. It’s what happens when a species breeds so successfully, they start showing off. It’s the reproductive equivalent of riding a bike with no hands and eyes closed: They’ll keep pumping away for a bit, but pretty soon they’ll screw up and their crotch will hurt. The only way to teach something so stupid is to be extremely stupid, and that’s the only thing these campaigns got right. Read more…
When it comes to teen pregnancy, Mississippi has the highest rate in the nation. The state has 55 births per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19 — a whopping 60 percent above the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And it is not too difficult to see the culprit: abstinence-only sex education dominates the state and schools are only allowed to teach, you know, birth control if they got special permission. Keep reading »
Most think of us see unplanned pregnancy rates as a serious thing, but others think it’s a laughing matter. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has ab unorthodox approach to teaching guys sex education: humor. While women ages 18 to 29 receive a lot of messages regarding safer sex practices, the organization believes men in the same group remain widely ignored. Their solution? Create PSAs that appeal to men by making them laugh.
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When I tell people that once, when I was in 7th grade Sunday school class, I was shown a video starring Kirk Cameron and his wife Chelsea Noble that illustrated the dangers of sex with laughing carnival workers and evil clowns, they don’t believe me. Well, here it is (presented in three parts, after the jump).
Every time I see Kirk Cameron — especially now, speaking out about how homosexuality is “unnatural” and “detrimental” — I think of my 13-year-old self sitting in a dark classroom, terrified, watching the 1993 Focus on the Family abstinence-only “educational presentation” called “Sex, Lies & … The Truth.” The beginning of the film isn’t subtle: Shots of Kirk and Chelsea talking about delaying sex until marriage are interwoven with warped shots of haggard carnival workers laughing maniacally; close-ups of antiquated games, a cackling clown, and menacing rides; and a frightening-looking roller coaster in motion, camera placed firmly at the front car’s helm. “I think it’s real easy sometimes to look at life like it’s just this great ride or it’s just this awesome game, and you’re out to have as much fun as you can,” Kirk begins. Keep reading »