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A Shot of Bleach Ought to Dew It!
April 4, 2008 9:34 PM   Subscribe

"Some Florida teens believe drinking Mountain Dew or smoking marijuana will prevent pregnancy and that swallowing a capful of bleach will prevent HIV/AIDS."* As a result, lawmakers are pushing "for an overhaul of sex education in the state. State lawmakers said the myths are spreading because of Florida's abstinence-only sex education"* "On Tuesday, a bill that would 'require a more comprehensive approach' to sex education narrowly won approval from a state Senate committee."*
posted by ericb (61 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, who knew a lack of education would result in a lack of knowledge!?
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 9:37 PM on April 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


Diet Coke should do a much better job than Mountain Dew. More acidic. (I got my abstinence-only sex ed in New Mexico.)
posted by slightly ridiculous at 9:41 PM on April 4, 2008


Another myth is that Florida teens also believe that smoking marijuana will prevent a person from getting pregnant

Wait, wait ... that's a myth??
posted by spacewrench at 9:42 PM on April 4, 2008


A few years ago I used to work the loading dock at a national chain retailer. One day one of my coworkers happily announced that his common-law wife was pregnant with a boy. He then went on to say that they had planned it this way: he had made sure his wife ate lots of milk and eggs for the previous few months. The extra protein made sure that the fetus would be a boy instead of a girl.

Sometimes in life I get this feeling that we're already living in a post-apocolyptic dystopia where rudimentary science and biology is Forbidden Magic of the Ancient Ones which must be kept from children at all costs, lest they become corrupted.
posted by Avenger at 9:46 PM on April 4, 2008 [6 favorites]


Man, in my high school years we were taught a wide spectrum of birth control methods, STD causes and preventions, and got to watch what could easily pass for porn. Condoms were easy to shoplift back then also. What dark ages we live in now.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:47 PM on April 4, 2008


The Mountain Dew and marijuana myths were around when I was in high school too (10 years ago, and in Texas - and we actually had sex ed classes). Kids said it made conditions too acidic for sperm to live and/or lowered a man's sperm count.
In addition, the bleach and HIV/AIDS myth is incredibly prevalent in South Africa and is believed by not just teens, but adults as well, making it yet another contributing factor to the high rate of HIV/AIDS in S.A.
Since the beginning of time there have been myths about what might prevent pregnancy. The Egyptians used to believe that if you smeared crocodile dung over the genitalia it would prevent fertilization. (Probably because no one would want to have sex with you, I'm thinking...)
Sex ed is so important... abstinence-only is a costly joke. A good sex ed program in school is difficult to come by, and that is a shame!
posted by KoobieKitten at 9:48 PM on April 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that teens that are having sex and smoking pot are probably also aware of condoms.

Telling kids to wait to have sex is not a bad thing
posted by jpdoane at 9:48 PM on April 4, 2008


Won't drinking bleach prevent life? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with people? ITS BLEACH! Why the fuck would you drink it??!!!! How goddam stupid are people? Regardless of age, or lack of sex ed, bleach just isn't something you put in a shot glass. WTF!!!???
Between this and waxing 8 year old girls vagina's, this has been a hell of a night.
posted by a3matrix at 9:48 PM on April 4, 2008 [9 favorites]


What is the general thought process of smoking pot to prevent pregnancy? The sperm will be too stoned to swim? Loss of motivation due to being baked? Can't swim straight? HAHAHAHA
posted by a3matrix at 9:50 PM on April 4, 2008


Swallowing a capful of bleach won't prevent HIV/AIDS, but it might cull the herd a bit.
posted by you just lost the game at 9:52 PM on April 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


Telling kids to wait to have sex is not a bad thing

Of course not, and nobody who advocates abstinence-based (as opposed to abstinence exclusive) sex education disagrees with you. That said, telling kids how to make good decisions about sex and protect themselves is also not a bad thing, and based on the overwhelming evidence gathered over the past 20 years is probably the best way to go about it.
posted by baphomet at 9:55 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Swallowing a capful of bleach won't prevent HIV/AIDS, but it might cull the herd a bit.

Sure it will. But then so will cyanide.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:10 PM on April 4, 2008


I'm pretty sure that teens that are having sex and smoking pot are probably also aware of condoms.

But another myth that is pretty common (partly because it is being spread by some abstinence advocates) is that condoms don't help.
posted by wendell at 10:13 PM on April 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Do kids not watch TV anymore? Sheesh.
posted by Hildegarde at 10:14 PM on April 4, 2008


The Mountain Dew and marijuana myths were around when I was in high school too

back in the 60s, it was coca cola - but you had to douche with it
posted by pyramid termite at 10:25 PM on April 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I heard Diet Coke in the 80s, and we DID have the pornlike sex ed class with full information. It's precisely because people are inclined to believe stuff like this that we need decent sex ed.

Coca-Cola Spermicide on Snopes
posted by Miko at 10:30 PM on April 4, 2008


A few years ago I used to work the loading dock at a national chain retailer. One day one of my coworkers happily announced that his common-law wife was pregnant with a boy. He then went on to say that they had planned it this way: he had made sure his wife ate lots of milk and eggs for the previous few months. The extra protein made sure that the fetus would be a boy instead of a girl.

That sounds a bit casual and demented, but there have been many scientific studies which connect diet to the ultimate sex of a child. This is from The Independent, the UK newspaper:

DIET

Theories abound about the sex selection effects of diet, but there is little hard evidence. It's claimed that calcium-rich foods such as milk and cheese favour a girl, while red meat favours boys. One study on diet based on 281 couples found that those who kept to predetermined levels of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium before conception had a child of the sex they wanted in about 80 per cent of cases. A second study using a similar technique found that out of 47 births, only seven failed to produce the expected sex. How it works is unclear.


I did a paper on these studies years ago, and there's some remarkable consistency to them, going back to the late 1970's. I can't validate the exact accuracy of it all, but if you do some searching, you'll find that at least some connection exists between diet and the sex of one's child. So at the very least, it's not entirely crazy.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:42 PM on April 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Huh. I heard earwax.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:45 PM on April 4, 2008


Do kids not watch TV anymore? Sheesh.

Home schoolers don't let their kids watch teh tv.
posted by porpoise at 10:45 PM on April 4, 2008


The Coca-Cola douche thing was printed as reliable in "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (etc)" in the early 70's. This was the biggest selling sex / sexuality guide in print at the time, and was presented as (and believed to be) representing scientific consensus. It was an American book, but copies of it were valuable contraband in info-starved Eastern Europe, as I am told by my aunt, who was a gynecologist in Bosnia. So, while the Coke thing may not be true, it actually was a part of "genuine" sex education - at least in some sense - for some time.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:48 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I heard the 'smoking weed makes you infertile' thing when I was in school; I blame it on some misguided anti-drug education that tried to implant a "drugs make you less of a MAN" idea. I definitely remember being told that smoking weed would lower your sperm count (said as though that was a bad thing) by some numbskull at one point in my life.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:50 PM on April 4, 2008


Maybe there'll be a party at the beach
We'll bitch about life and chugalug bleach
No one's getting high, and no one's getting drunk
I've got a case of bleach stashed in my trunk
I wanna die with Clorox within reach

I'm very proud of the respect I've earned
And my voice is very deep cause my throat got burned
Bleach keeps you young so I've been told
Cause no one who drinks it lives to get old
Drink it with a chaser was the first thing that I learned

Don't you wanna hang out with the Bleach Boys baby?
In a world where midgets run for mayor
Don't you wanna drink some bleach tonight?

I had 26 friends in the beginning
But now it seems our numbers are thinning
Some people drive fast, others love to bet
Still others snort coke in a private jet
But drinking bleach is my way of winning

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:01 PM on April 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Clearly none of these kids are aware of The Ring.
posted by katillathehun at 11:43 PM on April 4, 2008


I heard being unattractive.

"And they were right!" he whispered to himself, with a mixture of relief and self-loathing.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:25 AM on April 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I can't validate the exact accuracy of it all, but if you do some searching, you'll find that at least some connection exists between diet and the sex of one's child.

Have you met this Gregor Mendel fellow? I'm pretty sure he can explain to you why you can't validate your hypothesis.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:48 AM on April 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


If only we could add "How to Identify and Disregard Stupid Advice from Chain Letters" to the national curriculum.

"Snopes 101"?

I image the kids who were douching with Coke in the 60s are the same people who today fervently tell me not to vote for [candidate X] because [s]he won't swear on a Bible, or some other such unsourced nonsense. The next round of kids comes along and those lacking a healthy dose of skepticism go off shooting bleach. Just no filter mechanism for bullshit, in a world full of relative truths.

The lack of sex education sure isn't helping the confused sort out the big mysteries.
posted by dosterm at 12:56 AM on April 5, 2008


When I was in school it was said the sex of the child was determined by the sexual position during conception.

If the woman was on top the child would be female and if the man was on top it'd be male.

When this was explained to a ditzy, pregnant friend she gave a puzzled look and said "I guess I'm gonna have puppies."
posted by wsg at 12:58 AM on April 5, 2008 [16 favorites]


Telling kids to wait to have sex is not a bad thing

When it's the only thing you tell kids about sex, however, it does appear by all available evidence to lead to higher pregnancy rates, higher STI rates, and potentially fatal ignorance about sexual issues.

So, no, it's not a bad thing. It's worse than a bad thing: it's a worthless thing that, when not combined with comprehensive sex education, creates crazy bad outcomes. You can tell kids to wait all you want; the kids don't give a quarter of a flying fuck about your opinion on the topic. Kids will decide whether or not they have sex; we have the ability to make sure that whatever sex they do have is as safe as possible and least likely to have horrifically bad repercussions.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:07 AM on April 5, 2008 [19 favorites]


Pope Guilty just said way better what I was about to try to say.

I cannot believe a parent would believe telling a teen not to do something was a decent solution to a problem, especially one where every fiber of their being at that point is telling them the opposite.
posted by maxwelton at 2:09 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Telling kids to wait to have sex is not a bad thing then

the kids don't give a quarter of a flying fuck about your opinion on the topic.

Yeah, and being a douchetruck in response helps win hearts and minds. When will the enlightened realize that profane righteousness volleyed at the misinformed is a bad tactic? Pope Guilty, your rant seems perfectly constructed around a loophole that allows anyone who disagrees with your presentation style to dismiss your premise. It's superfluous to boot as baphomet presented a perfectly reasonable response hours before yours, bey sharam.

I'm pretty sure that teens that are having sex and smoking pot are probably also aware of condoms.

As to this, jpdoane, awareness does not necessarily entail understanding. What if a sexy pot-addled youth is aware of condoms, but doesn't understand why they should use them during intercourse? Assumption is a dangerous game when it comes to STD/Is and pregnancy; better to be forthright with the straight dope, ahem, as it were, and ensure that a properly educated young adult is equipped to deal with the misadventures associated with sex, drugs, and politics.
posted by carsonb at 2:27 AM on April 5, 2008


I maintain that a crass, incredulous outlook is counterproductive if your goal is to (re)educate people. However, I considered the possibility that jpdoane is trolling and, based on information available in his profile, I believe that he is sincere.
posted by carsonb at 3:30 AM on April 5, 2008


In a bizarre confluence of two of the myths mentioned in this thread, I knew a kid in high school who drank a capful of bleach because he thought it would help him pass a drug test (he had been smoking pot).
posted by PhatLobley at 5:27 AM on April 5, 2008


I had pretty decent sex ed at my Catholic elementary school in the conservative midwest the year of the Challenger explosion. Questions asked included "I heard if you're trying to have sex with a woman and failing to have an orgasm you should pee in her. Is that true?"

The instructor suggested that wouldn't really be a problem. But some other urban falsities ("I heard you can't get pregnant on your first time") were also dismissed.

After school I came home and had the most uncomfortable conversation imaginable with my mother. "How was it?" "Um, interesting." "OK then. What do you want for dinner?"

But really, it was a good first step, but it was just one or three or six sessions in fifth grade. At that point I was still more interested in M.A.S.K. than girls. By the time I would have questions of my own I had no forum to ask them in.

So I think the schools did make a good effort. My parents did *not* make themselves available to answer questions, however. It saddens me to think the level of instruction has slipped backwards since then.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:32 AM on April 5, 2008


When I was in school it was said the sex of the child was determined by the sexual position during conception.

If the woman was on top the child would be female and if the man was on top it'd be male.


Not to derail your retelling of an ancient joke, but I have read that woman on top used to be called "trying for a bishop" in that your (presumable) son conceived this way would become one. I can find no reputable source for this, but that's the sort of harmless urban legend that makes life fun. Legends about douching with coke, or any other substance, on the other hand, have been around for a long time, none of them work, and all of them are bad for the woman.

I would LOVE an urban legends/Snopes 101 class for kids; my niece stopped sending me emails when I kept Snopesing her forwards; she seemed almost offended that these horrible things weren't true. Because a world without poodles in microwaves is just not as interesting, or something.
posted by emjaybee at 6:43 AM on April 5, 2008


I firmly believe that instead of teaching kids to swim we should teach them to never be in the water.
posted by Legomancer at 7:06 AM on April 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


In my education, I received one hurried lecture by a nervous male teacher in the 4th grade. Other than that, I can't recall anything resembling sex education in my high school in Orange County, which was otherwise a pretty good school. This was in the mid-seventies.

When I read the abstinence sites, I end up thinking that abstinence as a program is doomed to fail, but that's not necessarily a bad thing for the ones who propose it. After all these programs have religious programming behind them, either overtly or as a motivating factor.

In the US version of 'come to Jesus', when you fall from Grace, you've sinned and are accepted back into the fold by renouncing your sins. When you fail at abstinence, which is pretty much pre-programmed to happen for biological reasons, you might experience guilt and fear since you've been kept in the dark about sexual education, so you reach out for acceptance and group support...bingo, you're in the church.

Guess I'm saying the religious establishment has a vested interest in keeping people ignorant about biology in order to harness the resulting emotional turmoil through the sin/redemption psychological whitewash.

Or something like that.
posted by diode at 7:47 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


When will the enlightened realize that profane righteousness volleyed at the misinformed is a bad tactic? Pope Guilty, your rant seems perfectly constructed around a loophole that allows anyone who disagrees with your presentation style to dismiss your premise. It's superfluous to boot as baphomet presented a perfectly reasonable response hours before yours, bey sharam

Oh, well, shucks, I'm sorry if I've given you the vapors; in future, when people express opinions that not only are ignorant and wrong but actively harmful to society and to the individuals the opinions in question concern, I'll be as sunny and nice as possible so that I might not hurt their feelings by possibly mentioning that there's anything to be ashamed of or feel bad about in holding such opinions.

When people advocate for child molestors on the basis that their victims might otherwise be in worse shape, I will never once make any reference to their activities being wrong, or harmful to kids, or anything else that might imply any sort of moral condemnation; instead I will formulate an argument that does not rely in any sense on righteousness or emotion, relying strictly on fact. I will decline to suggest that there's anything wrong in any sense with such molestation as they defend; to do so, after all, would be mean, and god forbid that.

When people advocate for political ideologies that cause economic trouble, injustice, and abrogation of civil rights, I shall patiently and reasonably explain to them why I disagree, making no reference to right or wrong but instead explaining... ah, hahha, no, I just can't keep a straight face this long.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:06 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


There are two reasons I find abstinence only education so bizarre. First, even if the kids actually do what they are told (which is unbelievably unlikely, but let's pretend) and get married and then have sex, at what point will they ever be able to learn about birth control? While a lot would certainly learn on their own, the prevalence of ridiculous urban myths definitely lives on (I have several friends who even through most of college believed that the pill and condoms weren't really that effective, but the pull out method was.). So I don't understand what is so inherently contradictory about say you should wait until X, Y, or Z, but at that point here is how you protect yourself.

And secondly, where do we get off telling teenagers what to do with their bodies. It's one thing to tell them they should never feel pressured and to talk about abusive relationships so hopefully they'll be able to make this very personal decision without being coerced or emotionally manipulated into it. But we don't own these kids and it's insulting to tell them that the government and their schools get to decide what is an incredibly personal decision.
posted by whoaali at 9:11 AM on April 5, 2008


As tempting as it is to turn this into a LOLFLORIDIANS moment, remember that the leader of the country with the highest HIV infection rate may have slightly misguided views about HIV prevention.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:25 AM on April 5, 2008


A second study using a similar technique found that out of 47 births, only seven failed to produce the expected sex. How it works is unclear.

Survival of the species during times of famine may depend on one sex or the other becoming predominate. It would not be surprising to discover there is a biological mechanism, influenced by diet, that selects for sex.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:30 AM on April 5, 2008


Also keep in mind that the fewer Floridians there are, the fewer Floridians there are.

If one reads the headlines at Fark, this can only be considered a good thing.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:31 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also keep in mind that the fewer Floridians there are, the fewer Floridians there are.

fff ftw
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:42 AM on April 5, 2008


I am so infinitely fucking glad I had a proper sex education, from grade 3 through grade 9.
posted by tehloki at 9:50 AM on April 5, 2008


Another myth is that Florida teens also believe that smoking marijuana will prevent a person from getting pregnant

Yes, exactly. It is a myth that a significant number of Florida teens believe that.

"OMG! We found a rumor about a few teens who believe something stupid! Overhaul the educational system!"

"Calm down. I've got this awesome puppet show about condoms. Once the kids see this, you won't have any problems with teens believing stupid stuff about sex. It's those pharm parties you should really be worried about."
posted by straight at 10:20 AM on April 5, 2008


Damn you Blazecock Pileon, that was exactly what I was going to post (Bleach Boys by Dead Milkmen lyrics). Now we must have a Highlander-style duel, as there can be only one who possesses the knowledge of obscure Dead Milkmen lyrics at MeFi.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:26 AM on April 5, 2008


Can you swallow a capful of bleach and live?

Because I really don't wanna get AIDS.

Okay, no seriously. How are kids not dying or getting seriously ill? Is bleach somewhat less toxic than I thought?
posted by Nattie at 10:29 AM on April 5, 2008


Well, it didn't say anyone's actually swallowing bleach.

Back when I was in high school, that one Nirvana song came out and suddenly the whole damn school was aware that pennyroyal oil was an abortifacient. But none of us actually used it as one. People went on using condoms or sneaking off to Planned Parenthood or whatever it was they did.

Still, it's bad enough that the idea's going around, even if nobody's acting on it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:07 AM on April 5, 2008


Abstinence-only sex education is a long-term Republican plot to move electoral votes from blue states to red ones.
posted by box at 11:39 AM on April 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


As a single guy, upper-30s, with too much education that I never use -- and somewhat regret for all that effort gone to naught -- I often think: what education, that isn't currently institutionalized or formalized, would actually make a positive difference in people's lives? For example, I'm not bad now, I have really struggled over the years to develop social skills. I feel some directed education in this area would have made a huge positive difference in my life. But no -- making friends, resolving arguments, and talking with girls is just something you're expected to pick up along the way. Meanwhile, I was taught advanced calculus.

Considering how important sex is to most people, I really think sexual education doesn't go far enough. I think people should be taught not just about contraception and STDs, but actually taught HOW TO FUCK, at least the basics. I still encounter women, sometimes in their 30s, that have never ONCE had an orgasm with another person, don't know where their G-spot is, or have no idea how to give a simple bj. Basic, basic stuff here. I'm sure the ladies here have plenty of stories of incompetant lovers as well. (Where is that "man in the boat" anyhow??) Really, every adult should have the knowledge to get their partner off.

I mean, in the context of education, would you rather know how to integrate multi-variable high-order polynomials or how to give & receive mind-blowing orgasms? Which would contribute more to your happy, fulfilled existence?

Everybody deserves the best chance to have a wonderful sex life, and education can & should play a role. But it'll never happen, at least not in the US. We're too busy telling people not to fuck.
posted by LordSludge at 11:48 AM on April 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


I'll be as sunny and nice as possible so that I might not hurt their feelings by possibly mentioning that there's anything to be ashamed of or feel bad about in holding such opinions.

Good, because if you do that you can still invoke shame, guilt, and regret in your quarry without giving them the opportunity to ignore your point and rail against your delivery. When presented with the possibility that one is wrong, and shamefully so, one seeks any opportunity to avoid acknowledging it. So if you're making your arguments in the hopes of promoting better sex education—and encouraging those who think the status quo is dandy—a sunny disposition while shaming the wronguns will help you convince them they're wrong. However, I think you're more interested in simply being vindictive (cf. bringing up child molestation out of the blue) and not at all interested in convincing those who you think are wrong that they are in fact wrong, in which case you're doing a fine job, don't change a thing, and have fun.
posted by carsonb at 2:41 PM on April 5, 2008


*—and encouraging those who think the status quo is dandy to change their minds
posted by carsonb at 2:42 PM on April 5, 2008


I went to a LCMS Lutheran grade school and sex ed started at first grade. Now, most up it, up until 8th grade, was about the basic biological functions of your genitals, but with a bit of always referring to the parties as married when discussing it. In 8th grade (1989) they did bring up HIV, but it was always about the methods of transmission and symptoms, not any moralizing. The huge moralizing was about how being gay was a sin against the lord and abortion being murder. On every January 23rd they'd march out all the school kids from K-8 to the front lawn of the school, give us a candle, and we'd have some sort of prayer ceremony while the church bell rang once for every million babies that died since Roe v Wade was legalized. A picture of the older kids standing in a (teacher imposed) heart shaped formation would be on the front page of our 8 page newspaper as some example of the goodness of the youth in Shithole, IL.

Since driver's ed is a required class in Illinois, you would have one quarter of that and one quarter of 'Health'. Health class was taught from this curriculum called Sex Respect. It started out as mostly physical/scientific about the mechanics of sex and embryonic development. The latter part of it pushed abstinence until marriage, the graphic horrors of sexually transmitted disease, mechanics of birth control methods and all the ways they could fail, and a concept called 'Secondary Virginity'. There was a lot of scaremongering.

What I wish was taught
: Masturbation. What is an Orgasm? How to have safe homosexual sex. What your rights are as an underage patient wanting to obtain birth control. How to treat sexually transmitted disease. How to talk to a doctor. What health professionals are available in the area. Confidentiality laws. What to expect from your first gynecological exam and why they are important to have. Side effects of common birth control medications. How marriage isn't the end all be all of relationships. Age of consent laws. How to weigh sexual decisions based on your personal mores/context/situation/relationship. Childfreedom as an option.

Ugh. Two girls in the class were already pregnant by the time it started.
posted by pieoverdone at 3:40 PM on April 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


However, I think you're more interested in simply being vindictive (cf. bringing up child molestation out of the blue)

We just had this conversation, in which Metafilter users vociferously defended child molesters, on Monday. It is in no sense "out of the blue", though it was certainly "on the blue".
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:51 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


In my first sex education class in fifth grade, the tape we were watching started to malfunction during the early 90's style educational music video. The song was about how much fun sex education was, and the last thing we heard before it cut off was the lyric "sex education" in an extremely distorted and slowed down voice. It was the last sex ed lecture I ever received in school.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 6:10 PM on April 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Let the record show that I, too, am in favor of absinthe-only sex education.

What?
posted by kcds at 6:19 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


That said, telling kids how to make good decisions about sex and protect themselves is also not a bad thing, and based on the overwhelming evidence gathered over the past 20 years is probably the best way to go about it.

Baphomet, thanks for your response. I was under the understanding that abstinence-only education informed about various contraceptives, but encouraged and promoted only abstinence. This was the type of sex-ed I received in school, and is what I think of when I hear abstinence-only education.
posted by jpdoane at 6:33 PM on April 5, 2008


I believe Mrs. Maxwelton's school district did not teach "health" due to xian pressure on the school board. There was a staggering pregnancy rate at her school, in rural Washington state.
posted by maxwelton at 7:22 PM on April 5, 2008


Can you swallow a capful of bleach and live? Because I really don't wanna get AIDS.

Obviously, these kids are taking their AIDS information from the stuff aimed at drug injectors. Presumably, the message is this: to avoid HIV/AIDS douche your orifice 5 times with undiluted bleach, then douche five times with a soapy water solution, then another five times with undiluted bleach.

This is clearly not as effective as using a new vagina or rectum every time you have sex, because the virus can live for quite a long time in those microscopic little crevices within the orifice, but given that the Federal Government has banned Orifice Exchange Programmes, bleaching your asshole or cunt is better than no protection at all.

BTW, when did America become Bizzaro World?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:52 PM on April 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think people should be taught not just about contraception and STDs, but actually taught HOW TO FUCK, at least the basics.

Careful. You run the risk of inflaming Pope Guilty again. He might think you're suggesting that teachers actually give practical instruction along with the theory here.

And let's face it, theory alone in this subject isn't all that helpful. When I was a teenage boy, I must have read mountains of material on how to fuck, and none of it was the slightest bit of use when it came to the point when I actually got the opportunity to do the deed. Sure, I knew where the clitoris was *supposed* to be located. But it's all a bit indistinct down there when you actually start rummaging. How much pressure? Where, exactly? Is she being truthful in her responses, or is she faking? Because, you know, she knows about as much as I do, and she's scared of looking stupid and unsophisticated.

And that's without even getting into stuff like G spots, female ejaculation and vaginal orgasms. Shit, I'm in my 50's and I still have no idea whether those things are real or whether they're myths. They're all things that I associate with New Age sexuality -- the scientists either debunk them, or don't have much to say about them, but there are a whole load of porn stars who swear that they're the real thing and will happily sell you videos showing you how to access these super-sekret sexual techniques.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:16 PM on April 5, 2008


In general, discussions that I've heard/read/etc about sex education go something like this:

* abstinence only means that you talk about the fact that the only surefire way to avoid pregnancy and STDs is to avoid sex, and focus on the negative aspects of not following that strategy. Avoid talking about contraception, on the misguided theory that it encourages the students to have sex. (And I can actually call this a misguided theory because it has been thoroughly studied: talking to students about contraception actually *doesn't* lead to a higher incidence of having sex, it just leads to a higher incidence of being prepared when it happens.)

* non-abstinence only sex education talks about contraceptives and all that other stuff that people need to know and do something about before they decide to have sex in the heat of the moment. It almost invariably still spends some time emphasizing that abstinence really is the only way to avoid some of these things, but recognizes the fallibility of teenagers and that some preparation will go a long way in helping them avoid ruining their lives with an unwanted STD or pregnancy. This was the kind of program that I got in the public schools I went to.

* and just about no sex education program actually talks about some of the things that I wish I'd had a little bit early, about things like homosexual sex, obtaining birth control, etc. We do an amazing amount of disservice to a sizable number of kids by teaching and reinforcing that it's abnormal to have same-sex attractions.


The preceding point of view comes from someone who dealt with coming out in college, and having been fairly involved with these kinds of issues at the college level. Admittedly, a bit late to be doing things for some people, but the number of students at my college that learned something that I considered basic during the student-run freshman orientation (which included a section on sex education) made me aware of just how big of a difference this makes to people.
posted by grae at 7:51 PM on April 6, 2008


McCain's lack of candor on reproductive rights: On issues like abortion and sex education, the candidate is neither as moderate nor as principled as some might think.
posted by homunculus at 9:41 PM on April 11, 2008


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