Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Just Say, "Oooh, Yeah -- Who's Your Daddy? 

I've been watching the ongoing media debate over sex education, the whole "abstinence only" movement and the shrill paranoia over MySpace, and I've come to a conclusion about the whole shebang. I flash back to when I was thirteen years old and the boy next door was twelve. He was still in sixth grade but I was in seventh -- so I was in Sex Ed and he wasn't. And he asked me, one day, if it was true that a woman could only get pregnant when a guy stuck his thing in her. Now -- the neighbor kid's older sister had gotten married about a year before, and she was very knocked up when he asked. And I'd been through about half a semester of classes, so I knew that, yes -- pregnancy only happened when the pee-pee went into the hoo-hah. So, I answered his question honestly and said, "Yep. Your sister is pregnant because her husband stuck his thing in her."

His response? "No way. Eeeeew. My sister would never do that!"

And it gave me the perfect idea for the solution to the whole "teen sex" problem. Look, if we tell a bunch of twelve year olds that they should not have sex, ever, until they're married, they're only going to do one thing: try to have as much sex as possible, as soon as possible. And if we withhold information from them, they'll have that sex with all kinds of misconceptions in their little heads -- like, "You can't get pregnant if it's your first time," or "If I pull out before I shoot, I won't knock you up" or "Oral sex won't spread STDs" or "If you love me, you'll prove it." And so teen pregnancy and newborns dumped in Prom toilets and furtive, non-parentally approved abortions will continue to happen.

Unless... here's my modest proposal. Want to keep the kids abstinent while educating them about sex? Okay. Starting with sixth grade, when they're about twelve years old and most of them are just on the verge of pubing out, here's what you do. Sex Ed class consists of nothing but showing them the most hard-core of porn. And I'm serious about this. Gather the girls together and show them one Bukkake Film after another. They'll be so scared of penises that they won't even consider giving it up until they've graduated from college. Show the boys she-male porn and fisting flicks and girl-on-girl action; it'll make them both insecure about their own sexuality and lusty about something they won't get until college, and so they'll resort to celibate masturbation.

Honestly? While a lot of twelve year-olds may think they know everything about sex and want to do it, shove the cold, hard (or warm, hard) reality in their faces, and they'll freak out and fear it. And isn't that what the Fundie-Nuts really want? Kids too afraid of sex to accept it as a normal part of life? Okay -- put your money shot where your mouth is. You want to, um, scare the kids straight, you aren't going to do it with pious lectures about how "special" sex is between a married man and a woman.

Nah. Tell kids that something is "special" and "for grown-ups only", you'll make them want to do it faster than they could get their hands on the latest incarnation of the X-Box. But show them the messy, sticky, icky reality -- they'll look at their own genitalia and think, "Yuck. I don't want to do that with this. It's just so... gross..."

And, another reminder to the fundies -- in all of the animal kingdom, except (for strange social reasons) the human one, the little animals start doing it as soon as they can. Puberty hits, it's fucking season. If you've ever been around an unfixed male puppy, you know this is true. As soon as those hormones hit the brain -- good luck keeping your pants leg or your sofa or, well, anything, free of puppy spoo. And dog forbid that an unfixed female in heat is anywhere within a seventeen block radius. Same thing with cats, and squirrels and bunnies (especially bunnies) and any other mammal on the planet.

So, in a lot of ways, humans are entirely unnatural in insisting that their offspring remain sex free until some artificial ceremony occurs well after the calendar calls them adults, even though biology deems most of them the same a good five to eight years before that.

The difference, of course, is that humans happen to mature intellectually much more slowly than their mammalian counterparts. Or, rather, a puppy at a year and a half is about as evolved as its ever going to get, whereas a human at twelve has still got a good decade more to go before the brain hits semi-full maturity. And, in that regard, maybe there is something to the whole "proper age for sex" thing. But let's not pretend two things here: a) that the "proper age for sex" isn't a social construct, and b) we can do anything to keep the kids from banging each other as soon as they can.

Well, in regards b), we can do something about it -- but it involves being honest with our kids. We have to give them full disclosure and full information. As early as possible, we have to explain the "facts of life" to them, in all their gory detail. We have to explain what sex is, how the genitalia work, the consequences of pregnancy and, yes, the utility of self-pleasure. Along with birth control, the possibility of abstinence, the option of abortion, and so on.

See, there's a great irony going on in society, and the fundies don't get it. While they claim that our society has become too sexually permissive, they're wrong. Because they've done their best to try to drive real information underground. I mean, my god, in a society where a six year-old boy can almost be deemed a registered sex offender for life for sticking his fingers down a girl's underwear (despite both of them being way below the so-called age of consent), that same child cannot be given information on birth control -- what gives?

So, again -- the "abstinence only" people are living in a dream world. You want to keep the kidlets from trying to do it as soon as possible, show them what it's like to do it; show them what can happen; show them alternatives -- and "not doing it, even not with yourself" is not an alternative.

Hell -- you want to keep all the teenage girls safe from sex for a decade? Give all the teenage boys lube and free porn. Like the aforementioned puppies, they'll be too busy spending their time elsewhere and, with the proper information, too afraid to try it anywhere else.

Jocelyn Elders, after all, was 100% right. And look what the fundies did to her.

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