My senior year of high school we had a sex ed section in health class. Obviously, that was a little late for many teenagers. I will never forget the girl who raised her hand to share a very important lesson with the class. The year previous she had been pregnant, and was now struggling to raise a baby and finish high school. Her lesson was, "If your boyfriend tells you he's sterile, don't believe him." Here, obviously, was a girl in need of education.
Unfortunately, the education she would be given in school and, frankly, by many parents would be almost as foolhardy as believing your boyfriend is sterile.
I give you the fallacy of "safe sex":
"Condoms are often seen as something that will protect you from nearly everything sex related...pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). But condoms simply "reduce the risk" - they don't eliminate all risk. They will, for instance offer good protection against both pregnancy and many STDs, but not 100%. If you fall into the approximately 5% for whom condom use still results in pregnancy, you are 100% pregnant - or maybe infected. So, depending on your situation in life and what you may have to lose if you get pregnant, perhaps a backup method of birth control would be a good idea. Talk to your Doc! And it's also important to know that condoms do not prevent all STDs. Either because they simply don't cover the area that may be affected by some STDs, or because the condoms slips, breaks or is incorrectly used. It's about reducing the risk, not completely eliminating risk."Simply handing out condoms and preaching safe sex is a harmful lie we tell ourselves and our children. While the average condom failure rate is about 5% (which is huge), that number increases a lot with inexperienced users. In 2005 the Guttmacher Institute released a study which showed that failure rates decreased with experience, going from in some cases 11% to less than 1%. So the target group of sex education -teenagers- are also the group most likely to not use condoms correctly, thereby negating most of their effectiveness. Also of note is that the Guttmacher study was conducted on 18-35 year olds, and not teens, meaning those failure rates were among older, more experienced test subjects. Additionally, those in the study were given intense education and training on condom use, and yet still had high failure rates. So again, preaching condom use as "safe sex" for teens is incredibly misleading.
Also important is the fact that STDs aren't passed solely by the fluids that condoms capture. They also spread by skin-to-skin contact, meaning despite using a condom, and using it correctly, you can still contract diseases like herpes, genital warts, and syphilis.
Additionally, and though the risk is low, the CDC recommends against even kissing someone known to be HIV positive because you can contract AIDS through french kissing. Also, Planned Parenthood's teenwire website tells teens that kissing can pass CMV, herpes, and syphillis.
We as parents, educators, and society as a whole need to stop pretending that there is such a thing as "safe sex". This is simply an easy to believe lie, one particularly harmful to the youth with whom we have been entrusted.