7 worst sex-ed clichés in Jefferson County's Think Beyond Friday Night video
Jefferson County Child Support Services has developed a new video intended to show that the department offers support for teen parents and children.
However, most of the 21-minute long production called Think Beyond Friday Night is spent detailing all the horrors and tribulations of teen pregnancy.
The film was shot in the area -- largely at John F. Kennedy High School, where producer and JeffCo employee Richard Martinez is the football coach. And while we appreciate the effort in trying to drive home the point that teen pregnancy happens to Colorado kids (just like you!), it still has a lot of teen sex-related tropes that are stereotypical and alarmist.
Why don't the high schools just play MTV's Teen Mom in the classroom? One hour of that is enough to convince anyone that being a teen mother is the worst idea ever and that even though he says he loves you, he'll forget to bring flowers -- which clearly means he doesn't care at all. Even so, Mean Girls said it best: "Don't have sex, because you will get pregnant and die! Don't have sex in the missionary position, don't have sex standing up, just don't do it, okay, promise? Okay, now everybody take some rubbers."
Here's our list of the videos seven worst clichés.
7. Corny "real life" reenactments. Apparently the way to convince high schoolers that pregnancy happens is to have an overdramatic actress tell her (female) "friend" that she missed her period and that her parents will kick her out if they ever find out. Because that's the only way high schoolers ever deal with pregnancy.
6. "Taking the next step." Along with teaching high schoolers the proper terms for male and female anatomy (hint: it's not "meat popsicle" and "cock holster"), why can't we just use the word "sex" in a context that isn't "sex ed"?
5. The condom broke. Yes, it happens-- but sex-ed videos would lead you to believe that it happens constantly. If that were true, why should you bother with them in the first place?
4. Scary statistics dancing across the screen. "34 percent of young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of twenty -- about 820,000 a year," the video says. While those are probably valid numbers, it has a weird way of sounding like "everyone is doing it."
3. Abortion is not presented as an option. While the last statistic sounds scary as hell, it fails to mention that 820,000 babies a year are not actually born. Not that every pregnant teen should be getting an abortion, but it's a valid, legal choice. "That's never come to mind and it's not my choice or anyone's to make," Martinez says, very diplomatically.
2. The morning-after pill is not a choice, either. Especially with all these apparently defective condoms going around, why can't Plan B just be mentioned as something to do within three days of the condom breaking if you don't want a baby?
1. You could go to jail. While Martinez says the film is meant to show that child support is "not so punitive that you jam it down their throat," there are still interviews of a man, not so subtly dressed in an orange t-shirt, talking about going to jail because he didn't pay child support.
More from our News archive: "Shelly Donahue's abstinence education 'WAIT Training' (VIDEO)."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.