Condoms a la NYC Subways « Second Ave. Sagas

January 9, 2007

Condoms a la NYC Subways « Second Ave. Sagas is, at one level, a funny and clever post. On another level though, I find it thought provoking. The line that really caught me was “While the rest of the country struggles with the idiocy of abstinence-only education….”

I’m not sure I agree with calling abstinence-only eduction “idiocy.” Why would we call it that? People will continue to have sex out of wedlock, it’s true, whatever they’re told. And so some provision should be made for informing them of what could happen; so I agree that if we’re going to have sex education in the schools it should really be sex education and not simply “Ignore the raging hormones, don’t have sex.” But why couldn’t it or shouldn’t It be something like, “Yes your hormones are raging, yes sex exists, yes it is (or can be) pleasurable, but here are the risks (insert really long list of risks here) and the only way to completely avoid them before marriage is abstinence.”

In a way, I’m reminded of a physics class I took as an undergraduate. During our discussion of how to calculate the solution to a problem we reviewed the concept of rounding. We were instructed not to round until the very last step of the calculation, to ensure that the answer we gave was as accurate as possible. Did everyone listen to the professor? No, of course not. Did everyone get the best answer? You can guess of course. Well, if we’re going to teach sex education in schools, why not teach the method that will be the best for preventing unwanted pregnancies and STDs? Why not teach abstinence?

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