Comments: For Girls Only

I listened to the story and was really struck by the truth expressed by the principal of the school: if we tried telling the whole truth, including the facts about condums, parents would be attacking us for promoting sex. The only program that is politically acceptable is the abstinence program.

This has a minimum to do with sex education and a maximum do to with legal and political problems for the school districts.

The NPR commentator [?Wade Goodwin?] gave us reality at the end talking to the kids - they are not going to abstain.

Posted by Bryan at February 6, 2004 01:23 PM

Thanks for mentioning that.

I had almost forgotten they pointed out that the 'abstinence' program was allowed to speak more plainly, to deal more openly with everything because you can say anything to kids, or show them any kind of pictures at all, in the context of 'just say no.'

Except, of course, for any advice about what to do when you don't say no. No advice given about how to find a health care professional or to talk to a school authority or even how to talk to your parents.

Right now in Texas, there's a girl who didn't say no and who is dying by inches wondering when she's going to get cancer. And she doesn't have anyone to talk to.

(I missed part of the story. I may go over to the NPR site and listen to the streaming audio of it this weekend.)

Posted by Anne at February 6, 2004 02:15 PM

I was working in California before returning to the Florida Panhandle. In both areas, if you wanted inexpensive/free pre-natal care you had to go to a family planning clinic. Of course all of the family planning clinics were under attack by the anti-abortion people, so most young women were afraid to go near them.

The county health departments are overburdened with uninsured people that you can't get an appointment until the problem is critical.

We have entered the 21st century with 19th century health care system.

Posted by Bryan at February 6, 2004 07:17 PM

I heard that story too I think. I'm not upset about linking sex to cancer because I thought that the HPV does lead to increased risk of cervical cancer. Anyway, I think that sex ed classes should explain all the diseases that are spread by sexual contact instead of focusing on HIV/AIDS and pregnancy, which kids don't think will happen to them. Go down the list of the more easily transmitted diseases (some incurable) with them calmly and honestly and I think they'll think twice. At the very least they'll be better informed. And since they are watching consequence-free sex nearly all the time on television, they should know the not so pleasant facts as well before they make any decisions.

Have you seen that scene in Clueless where Cher is asked about having sex? She says something like - 'You've seen how picky I am about my shoes, right? And they go on my feet!' More kids should know why that's funny.

Posted by eRobin at February 8, 2004 03:39 PM

eRobin - A big part of the problem with explaining all of the risks, openly and honestly, is that (as Bryan was reminding me) regular sex-education classes, the type to, you know, educate without an agenda, aren't allowed to talk about those things.

Posted by Anne at February 9, 2004 11:12 AM