I want to take a moment and discuss one of the leading issues in unplanned pregnancy:
The lack of knowledge surrounding reproduction and one's own sex organs.
I remember my blatantly inaccurate sex education that I received back in elementary. (Which was between 1995-2002, just to give a time-frame for these ridiculous statements to come). The nurse at my school, who so kindly offered to teach us about sex, used fruit to explain our sex organs.
Banana = Penis
Oranges = Breasts
Lemons = Testicles
Limes = Ovaries
This ridiculous list could go on, and on, and on. But I remember the look of disgust on my fathers face when I told him how sad I was that I couldn't go swimming or take a bath once my period started. My nurse had spent a good thirty minutes explaining to the young girls in my class that they, once on their period, couldn't immerse their "bottom area" in water for extended periods of time, without extreme physical consequences.
"It's unhealthy, and will make you and others ill."
My father told me to ignore all of her comments made in the past few days, and continue to ignore any of these "facts" in the future. At that point, my father, a retired pediatrician, explained to me sex, contraceptives, STD's, and reproduction.
I was consistently the source of information regarding sex with my friends, especially in high school. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't telling "dirty jokes", but more often than not, I was breaking the myths.
"Pulling out is not a fool-proof method, you can still get pregnant... boys dribble."
"... having sex in the shower doesn't mean you can't get pregnant... what does standing up have to do with it? Gravity? Er..."
"Douching? Uh.... not healthy. Quite it."
"Menstrual blood isn't the same as spermicide..."
Now most of you who are reading this right now, are probably thinking something along the lines of, "What the *$%#@?" But seriously... these are the ideas in the heads of many high school, young college students. Why? Well just look at my sexual education experience, and think of all the other even more inaccurate ones students have received over the years.
Now let's jump from current time Kansas to New York, where the school district has decided to create mandatory sexual education for Middle and High School students. This education will include the highly debated information regarding contraceptives, such as condoms, and how to properly use them. (They'll even show a demonstration! Gasp!)
But parents do have the option to decline this specific part of the eduction.
But still, this is amazing right? Mayor Bloomberg obviously thinks so. You want to know one of the key reasons comprehensive sex education has been implemented in these schools? Because of the high ratio or Black and Latino students in these districts.
I know what you're thinking... that's a little racist right? Do they think that white students are that different? I was a little perturbed when I first read the reasoning behind their ultimate decision. But just read this quote from Linda I. Gibbs, the deputy mayor for health and human services, and see where you fall now.
“It’s obviously something that applies to all boys and all girls... But when we look at the biggest disadvantages that kids in our city face, it is blacks and Latinos that are most affected by the consequences of early sexual behavior and unprotected sex.”
Chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, said in an interview on Monday, “We have a responsibility to provide a variety of options to support our students, and sex education is one of them.”
Well now, I sincerely appreciate New York's concern, and their willingness to put their careers on the chopping block, and for once not worry about their political stance, but see facts as facts, and show concern and love towards the youth of their state.
Want to read more on this decision? Please check out New York City Will Mandate Sex Education.
Now I just hope that politicians around the U.S. realize that facts are facts, students are having sex whether or not they receive a full education on reproduction. And I hope that they put behind them their "personal" beliefs on what is right and wrong, and realize that comprehensive education on sex, HIV, STD's, rape, reproduction, and puberty is for the betterment and health of their students.