So, you must be pleased with the results of that congressional study, which indicated that students who've participated in sexual-abstinence programs are just as likely to have sex as those who haven't. Now you and your kind can go back to handing out free condoms as a supplement to your clean-needle programs. And me and my kind can go back to paying the price for sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, abortions and the sundry crimes committed by addicts. Happy now?
Just Don't Do It
Just Don't Do It: Happy? Moi? You must have me confused with some eyes-bulging, drool-dripping, wolf-whistling sex fiend who would jump at the chance to teach our nation's youth what all those orifices are for. Au contraire, mon frÃre. I think they should be left to themselves to figure out what all those orifices are for, since that's pretty much what they're doing anyway. And when one of them is foolish (or desperate) enough to ask an adult what those orifices are for, I think the adult's response should be something along the lines of 'Orifices? Orifices? What orifices? Oh, you mean those orifices. Yeah, well, those particular orifices are, uh...they're for later, like when you're married and stuff. Just ignore them for now. Okay? Okay.'
Was I pleased with the results of the study? No, but neither was I surprised. You're simply not going to be able to talk each and every young person out of having sex ' or anything else, for that matter ' just because it's a bad idea. And I'm not even convinced it's a bad idea. In fact, when I was that age, it seemed like a pretty damn good idea! I did participate in a sexual-abstinence program, which consisted of me propositioning anything on two to four legs, then me being rejected. (Sheep are much more finicky than you might imagine.) But I have an abiding respect for how quickly I would have abandoned the program had the opportunity presented itself. And, except for the part about the sheep, I don't think I was that out of the ordinary.
You and your kind may not need to know what all those orifices are for, Just Don't Do It. But me and my kind do. And that's why I'd like to see a program in all our schools that speaks to the needs of all our students. Me and my kind would get our sex education. You and your kind would get your no-sex education. And together, we'd all get...an education. I'm all for teaching the value of abstinence. (Some of the best sex I've ever had was after long periods of abstinence.) But I'm also in favor of teaching the value of non-abstinence ' the joy of sex. Kids have already figured out that it's fun, so why try to keep it a secret? Just make sure they know it comes with responsibilities, and make sure they understand what those responsibilities are.
And yes, make condoms available for those who think they may need them. That's not endorsing sex, in my opinion. It's endorsing safer sex. And it's acknowledging that some percentage of students are going to have the former and would be a lot better off if they also had the latter. You may not know this, Just Don't, but condoms have been given a lot of the credit for the decline in teenage-pregnancy rates in the last decade or so. Meanwhile, the government spent a billion dollars on a just-say-no program that appears to have had no effect whatsoever. They'd have been better off if they'd taken the billion dollars and offered students a yearly stipend for setting their libidos aside, the way they do with farmers and their crops.
Heck, even I would have signed up for that if the going rate had been ' oh, I don't know ' a million bucks a year. I may have been willing to do it with a kumquat, but like any prostitute, I had my price.
To leave no child's behind unspanked, write to: MR. RIGHT, ISTHMUS, 101 KING ST., MADISON, WI 53703. OR CALL 251-1206, EXT. 152. OR E-MAIL MRRIGHT@ISTHMUS.COM.