Comment of the Day

Reader: Sex ed must go beyond condoms to take on STDs, "hormonal upheaval" of abortion

Reporter Melanie Asmar's recent post juxtaposing abstinence education versus what she termed more "realistic" sex ed drew a passionate response from one reader. She feels the question should go well beyond whether or not instructors will still be able to use bananas and condoms.

Here's Mimi's post:

". So... if Colorado wins the grant, will school districts that favor contraceptive-based (read: realistic) sex ed be forced to throw out all those bananas and condoms" Okay, sex-ed is either contraceptive-based or not? This is rather narrow minded. First of all, contraception is about pregnancy prevention, not sex. The two are related, but not the same. There is plenty of "realistic" education without talking about contraception. Am I advocating that we don't even mention how to prevent pregnancy? I am not. However, I've got to wonder if we're not promoting sexual activity when we explain ALL of the ways one can have sex while diminishing the chances of pregnancy -- non-abstinence contraception has it's limitations, after all. As for ensuring students "have access to science-based, comprehensive, medically-accurate, culturally relevant, and age-appropriate sexuality education," are we including sexually transmitted diseases and their consequences? Are we going to make sure each student understands that hormonal contraception alone does nothing to prevent STDs? Are we going to talk about the psychological impact of having a sexual relationship without commitment, such as marriage? Are we going to tell them that the likelihood of cervical cancer increases with the number of partners a woman has? What about the long term effects of abortion? No matter how you describe it, it's the killing of a human individual. Are we going to prepare young women for the hormonal upheaval of having a pregnancy suddenly terminated by abortion? Are we going to talk about the differences of how young men view the sexual act versus how young women do? Or are these just the buzz words to criticize abstinence education in favor of pushing medical drugs and paraphernalia we call "contraception?"

Read more takes in our Comment of the Day archive.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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