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  • March 2009
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Sex Ed

The Pittsburgh Public Schools recently made a proposal to change from “abstinence-only” sex education to “comprehensive” sex education. Check out this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09048/949664-298.stm

Abstinence-only sex education does exactly what its name suggests: it promotes not having sex as the only safe way to not get pregnant and/or contract STDs. Comprehensive sex education still promotes abstinence (in a world of germs and fast-swimming sperm, truly the only way to be absolutely safe), but it also provides information about ways to have safer sex, greatly reducing the risk of STDs or unwanted pregnancy.

When I was in health class at Montour High School, it was abstinence-only. I remember flipping through the health book with its gory pictures of oozing syphilis and herpes sores and being stunned by the utter lack of useful information. Being that annoying girl who always asks the question that nobody wants to hear, I raised my hand and said, “Are we going to learn about condoms at all?” The health teacher could only reply, “No, we will not. And our discussion of them ends here.”

What do you think? Do teens need more information about sex? Where can they get this information? A lot of people say that teens should learn what their parents want to teach them. But what if your parents are incredibly open-minded about sex and want to tell you everything and it grosses you out so much that you can’t imagine ever having sex with anybody? What if your parents think (like two thirty-something adults having a conversation in the library the other day) that it is the woman’s genetic input that determines the sex of the baby? (It isn’t. Females contribute two X chromosomes. Males contribute either an X or a Y.)

One place that you can get any kind of information that you want is your local library. Ask a librarian for a book if you’re not too embarrassed. If you are, ask anyway and say that you only need the book to do a school report. Or look for one of these highly-informative reads:

Sara Dora CLP-Hazelwood

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