(What a way to start my very first post) I'm a sex health peer educator at the University at Albany--and if there's anything I've learned is that the 15 - 24 year old range is most susceptible to contracting a whole schlew of nasty things. Pregnancy is the least of their worries when it comes to sex. And frankly, abstinence-only education isn't cutting it. A few statistics: * The CDC reports that a teen gets an STD every 11 seconds. It's sick. * Half of all new HIV infections occur in persons between the ages of 15 and 24... every 13 minutes there's a new HIV infection in the US--that means ever 26 minutes, a teen/college kid is infected with HIV. * 75% of all STDs are acquired by persons between the ages of 15 and 24. And, oh joy of joys, most STDs don't show symptoms--especially in women. This could lead to sterility, it could lead to harming your child during pregnancy, certain cancers, joint and heart problems... the list goes on. Not to mention death. I suppose that's just a little side effect =P It devastates me when I hear people pushing for abstinence-only education. Most of the time, abstinence-only education is occuring too late (kids are having sex earlier), it excludes those who have already had sex, it makes no exceptions for gay or lesbian students, and in many cases, it places an emphasis on waiting until marriage. Dumb dumb dumb. Other countries (look to the Nordic countries) have instituted comprehensive sexuality education, and not only have their rates of STDs and teen pregnancies have lowered, but the age of first sexual intercourse has risen--kids aren't having sex younger--exactly the opposite from what conservatives are scared about. It places an emphasis on making value-based decisions, enhancing refusal skills, and communication skills, as well as educating kids on what could happen if they have sex. ::sigh:: we live in such a weird sex culture, and things won't get better if we keep on sending mixed messages to our youth. (My favorite example: President Clinton's bout of oral sex isn't really "sex"... riiiiiiiight, bucko, you tell yourself that...) And Tretyak, you'd be surprised how keenly teens will listen to you (and apply learned information) about how to put a condom on if it means preventing an unwanted kid or disease, and trust me, there are many ways people mess up.