From The Calgary Herald, December 28, 2007: “One in five women (aged 16 to 24) never use condoms.”
Call me a cynic, but I’m pretty sure most if-not-all women are missing the anatomy required for wearing condoms.
Why is it that women are always handed the responsibility to police sex? The article in question is a case in point: it discusses current sex education programs and their failure to encourage students — specifically female students — to practice safe sex. It goes on to claim that many women believe oral contraceptives (the pill, for example) protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
But while I’m all for encouraging safe sex, and yes, women should insist their partners wear condoms, shouldn’t this article be addressed to young men? The condom goes on their equipment, so why not stress the importance of condoms to them?
First of all, I don’t know a single woman who believes oral contraceptives protect against STDs. From experience, I know that when you go to the doctor to get or renew a prescription for birth control, the doctor reminds you that condoms are required for protection against STDs. My first time on birth control, the doctor said something along the lines of: “These stop you from getting pregnant. That’s it. You can still contract STDs. These are baby stoppers — that’s why they are called birth control pills.” And, in case you forget, reminders that oral contraceptives do not protect against STDs are printed several times on birth control packaging.
Second, I’ve heard this song before. Growing up, I received the “rape” lecture several times and from several different people in my life. The first time was in junior-high. Segregated from the boys, we learned how to prevent ourselves from becoming victims, and what to do if we became a victim. But did the boys learn about rape? No. No one told them no means no, sex by force is wrong, and all the other things women get told about rape.
No wonder a lot of them haven’t figured it out.
The article concludes by mentioning a rape case in which one of the suspects, a male, was quoted as saying “They pass out condoms, teach sex education and pregnancy-this and pregnancy-that. But they don’t teach us any rules.” Too true. The boys aren’t the ones getting taught the rules, regulations, and consequences of sex — the girls are. We get it from sex educators, parents, girlfriends, and doctors. The onus lies on us to keep sex safe, and disease- and baby-free.
It infuriates me. We need fewer studies and surveys implicating women, and more telling men to wear condoms and men to practice safe sex and men to avoid casual sex.
Perhaps the reason sex education is not producing the safest results is because it’s all aimed at one side of the mattress.