My local radio station blasted the news the other morning. A newly released survey has found that in my home state of Connecticut, a large majority of high school seniors have had sex within the past year but-and this seemed to be the headline-many of them didn't use condoms.
In fact, the first sentence of the Associated Press report reads as follows:
"A survey by Connecticut health and education officials shows that about two-thirds of high school seniors in the state have had sex in the past year but only 59 percent of them say condoms were used."
The story goes on to lament the fact that this must be evidence that students aren't getting good information on "safe sex."
Also mentioned is the apparently not-very-newsworthy detail that 25 percent of high school students say they had sex beginning in ninth grade.
So to be crystal clear, what's deemed worthy of note here is not the fact that so many teens are engaging in sex, a quarter of them starting at age 14. What's newsworthy and of concern is that the "safe sex" message just isn't getting through.
Would it even be a news story if 100 percent of teenagers had sex but used condoms?
Posted on the Heritage Foundation website is a lecture given by Dr. Miriam Grossman, author of You're Teaching My Child What? A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Education and How They Hurt Your Child. Early on, Grossman tells the story of a patient she worked with as a campus psychiatrist at UCLA. Stacy was an athlete who worked hard and didn't smoke or drink. Her health was important to her. But as a result of a single sexual encounter-during which a condom was used-she is now infected with an incurable genital virus.
What sex educators fail to instill in their students is the simple fact that condoms do not prevent all sexually transmitted diseases, nor do they offer perfect protection against pregnancy. No artificial method of birth control does.
If students like Stacy can learn the disciplines of being an athlete, including abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes, surely they have the potential to exercise self-control when it comes to sex.
So why don't sex educators make that their goal? Because, according to Dr. Grossman, "Sex ed is a social movement. Its goal is to change society. . . to promote sexual freedom and to rid society of its Judeo-Christian taboos and restrictions."
I'd have to agree.