Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Oprah treads out the kids having sex scare.....again

Will it ever stop? I think Oprah loves to do "Kids past puberty are experimenting with sex!" scare because everyone, conservative or liberal, feels guilty about both kids and sex. Conflate the two and our brains seep out of our heads and the pile-on of guilt makes us vulnerable to advertising aimed straight at people who wish their families were more like the cute, clean ones in the advertisements. And minor's sexual behavior is such a bogeyman that if you even remotely suggest that we all calm down and actually try to think rationally about what's going on, you are all but labeled a pedophile.
Please keep in mind that I am not a pedophile and I am not advocating that teenagers get pregnant or AIDS or anything like that.
The trendy "kids are having sex" scare is trot out kids who were caught experimenting with oral sex and coax them into saying that they were doing it because they didn't want to have "real" sex and then imply that means that little Jane, YOUR DAUGHTER is sucking off the entire football team RIGHT NOW. So you better lock her up.
Then all these fingers start getting pointed as to why kids might think that oral sex isn't "real" sex, which bewilders their parents who are pretending that they think oral sex is an unspeakable perversion that is only practiced by prostitutes. Bill Clinton is a favorite target of this finger-pointing, as are the tired movies, music, whatever. I never tend to hear that maybe, just maybe, these kids are experimenting with sex because their bodies have gone through this thing called "puberty" that has weighed them down with desires, and that because their sex education is no more than "penis vagina wait until you're married and babies are wonderful" that they don't have any tools to make responsible decisions about their own bodies. Really, I'm surprised there aren't more kids who hear about oral sex through the kid grapevine and decide that this is a nifty way to have sex without getting pregnant.
To hear some people waxing on about abstinence-only education, you'd think you could actually keep kids so ignorant that they wouldn't even go through puberty until their wedding nights. The debate has been whittled down to one team crying for keeping kids utterly ignorant about their own bodies and feelings and the other team offering that they should merely be mostly ignorant, so that there's a snowball's chance their lives won't get ruined just in case they accidentally let their hands slip too far after the senior prom.
I think kids should have comprehensive sex ed in schools, to relieve parents of having to have a conversation so uncomfortable that it's bound to go wrong 99.9% of the time. And by this, I mean comprehensive. I never knew somebody who got pregnant because she knew too much about birth control. Tell them what oral sex and anal sex and K-Y is. Tell them that guys who expect girls to go down without reciprocating are first class assholes. Tell them about every kind of birth control under the sun and give explicit instructions on how to use them. Lots of well-meaning people break condoms because of ignorance. Tell them that the emotional decisions are hard ones, but luckily the physical decisions (condoms, etc.) are a little easier. Respect that their feelings are similar to adults ones, that they fall in love and want thrilling sex and romance, too. Adults get ignored because they say things like, "This won't seem important when you're older."
Ignorance spreads disease just as easily as promiscuity. Everyone I've ever known who got an STD did so because there was a failure to communicate, usually born out of embarrassment which is a direct result of ignorance. I know that there's too much political pressure on schools, and that we won't be seeing effective sex education anytime soon. People are ignorant and embarrassed and sadly they work out their feelings about it by demanding that the next generation suffer from the same ignorance. This is all true, but it doesn't mean I have to kiss anyone's ass and respect their desire to perpetuate ignorance. They're fools and their foolishness is hurting the very young people they want to protect.

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