San Francisco public school officials made a choice this week that they will not soon forget. Mostly because they will be hearing about it, reading about it, and living it for the rest of their lives. You’d think they might have gotten pregnant.
Instead, they are trying to prevent our city's adolescents and preteens from doing just that, and other unsavory, sexy stuff. And they seem to have no clue just how many worms are in the can they opened. Hint: So many that it’s a mystery how they all fit in there to begin with.
When the city's school board on Tuesday night unanimously endorsed the giving out of condoms to middle school students — without parental knowledge, mind you — they must have known what they were doing. (Free condoms have been plentiful and freely available in high schools for decades.) There must be a reason for this, besides just pissing off a bunch of parents.
[jump] Ah! Right: To prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Kudos, those are good things to thwart.
Alas, the school leaders are dealing with other people’s kids here, so they’re going to lose no matter what. Telling people what to do with their children — 5 percent of whom are sexually active, according to a study cited by the Examiner — is akin to farting in the wind.
Who remembers the HPV vaccine wars? That was a big deal. And recent stories have proven that science and the experts pedaling it, and not the bewildered parents, were right again.
The HPV vaccine was always about preventing cancer later in life. But ignorance won the day in the court of public opinion and it became a fight about encouraging sex among kids. You can’t make this stuff up.
It’s no secret that sex is taboo in our big country. No matter that it’s splattered all over the place in the form of entertainment, advertising, and commerce, we are generally a sexually repressed society. We fear sex.
Part of this is not really our fault. Some aspects of sex are scary. Most scary ramifications of sex come after the few seconds of pleasure. Like when you don’t use contraception and you either fall ill or become pregnant. And there’s the abuse associated with sex, but that’s another enormous can of worms.
How do parents usually combat the natural feelings their children have to want to reproduce? They basically say get the fuck off my lawn. This is my kid and I know what is best for my kid. This usually leads to some half-assed birds-and-bees conversation that leaves everyone in the room with a stiff sphincter and a promise of burgers and fries night.
In other words, most parents are not good at educating their children about sex because it’s a difficult and uncomfortable topic. Just look at the numbers. If parents handled this situation properly, there would be a lot more condom use.
Here’s a radical concept: Let’s have faith in the trained professionals — i.e., educators — to do the teaching. The sex will happen either way.