What's Worse for the Future of Students' Safe Sex - the STI 'Superbug' or a Catholic Education?
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Students have sex. A lot. In fact, we’re pretty much the only demographic who are dictated by cliché stereotypes to actually have enough sex. So news of a new ‘STI Superbug’ – a strand of gonorrea resistant to antibiotics – that has been discovered in Japan and is predicted to spread around the world within ten years is certainly bad news for a generation the Mail label as accustomed to ‘increased promiscuity’. (I don’t think this is necessarily the case but I couldn’t resist linking to an article where the Mail makes the sweeping unsubstantiated claim that all young people are a bunch of sluts). However, a conversation with a 15 year-old I knew this afternoon had me choking on my own disbelief over the 6 o’clock news and thinking about an even bigger threat to the sex habits of young people. The subject of our conversation? The sex education assembly she had at her Catholic school today. Something that I suggest poses a greater threat than an antibiotic-resistant strand of gonorrea. I felt quite incredulous when I first heard about this, so heads up and brace yourselves. Everyone’s familiar with the typical Catholic school Sex Ed myth: don’t have sex until you’re married; don’t use a condom even if you have AIDS; sex is only for the act of procreation. However, the teaching at this school went beyond this in a way that seems darkly pre-historic and worryingly hysterical. I was treated to a 15 year-old school girl’s delightfully entertaining story of how a guest came to her assembly today and told an entire hall full of Year Tens that sex is bad and condoms don’t protect you from getting pregnant. The guest asked two students to unwrap two teddy bears – one ripped one and one unripped one – and asked boys which they would prefer as a present. Because apparently a female’s virginity is a gift like a teddy bear and a boy should never ever associate himself with a teddy bear that is ripped. She then gave several schoolchildren cups of water and asked them to, in front of the assembly, take a sip. And spit it back out. And then swap several times. ‘Would you drink from the same cup once someone else already has?!’ she apparently bellowed. Acceptably, a gruesome and probably quite accurate metaphor, but still – something we should be impinging upon impressionable 15 year-olds?
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