Posted by: laughs4dads | October 1, 2010

Abstain Removal

The doorbell rings. A teenaged boy opens the door to find a beautiful young woman in a slit mini-skirt holding a clipboard. She asks, seductively, “Do you have protection?” and he invites her in.

A scene from the latest porn flick?

No. It’s a scene that was played out (in my imagination) at the homes of the 2,800 American teenagers who participated in a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As reported by Mary Beth Sammons on AOL’s ParentDish, the CDC sent out women from the University of Michigan to conduct face-to-face, in-home interviews in order to “…update the facts on how many teens are getting formal instruction on sex education and how frequently.”

The post does not say if this was the same survey discussed in a July 22, 2010 article on AOL Health (and made fun of in this blog on August 27) in which the CDC dispatched female interviewers to ask teenagers about their sexual activities. Assuming it’s not, this whole thing raises some very interesting questions:

  1. Why is it Centers for Disease Control? Are there more than one? Shouldn’t we keep all our diseases in the same place?
  2. Just how many female interviewers does the CDC have roaming around America engaging our youth in sex talk?
  3. Wouldn’t it make a great reality TV show to have, say Paris Hilton, go from house to house asking people about sex?
  4. Do I appear to be hopelessly out-of-date by even admitting that I use AOL?

But wait–I haven’t even gotten to the results of this particular survey. It seems that while 97% of teenagers have received some form of sexual education by age 18, only two thirds have received instruction in contraception. This is a shocking statistic since that other survey showed that 79% of girls and 87% of boys said they used some form of contraception during their first intercourse.

Does that mean kids out there are trying to use birth control but don’t really know how? Do they, like, think that oral contraceptives are only for oral sex? Do they struggle when trying to open the condom packages? Do they think that an IUD is for when you owe people money?

Of course not. The apparent discrepancy could be a result of many other factors. Perhaps they didn’t learn about birth control in school but, rather, in the locker room when that slut Lisa was describing her evening with the cute math geek that you’ve had your eye on and she knew it and seduced him anyway and now is rubbing your face in it and…

I really have to stop watching shows on the CW.

Where was I? Oh, right, birth control. Obviously, the real reason why only two thirds of our children know about birth control is that there is a contingency of citizens who argue that even mentioning birth control is condoning pre-marital and non-reproductive sex, and that public schools should not do that.

Whereas I believe that the very existence of that argument is the reason why they should.

And here’s another thought: no one objects to telling teens not to drink and drive. How is teaching contraception fundamentally different? The message is the same: we’d really prefer you didn’t do this, but if you do, don’t let it ruin your life.

Here’s a radical idea: don’t rely on the schools to do it. Just tell your kids what you want them to know.

But do it soon. Because it’s clear that we really have to get going on sex ed., what with all these female interviewers showing up at our homes.


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