Beyond The Condom And Banana

Rachel Giese insists that teen boys need better sex ed:

Sex educators report that young straight men are the most frequently ignored demographic when it comes to sexual health. Since girls and women overwhelmingly bear the consequences of unwanted pregnancies, violence, and discrimination, sexual health initiatives around the world tend to focus on their needs (one exception being AIDS awareness campaigns targeted at men). It comes as no surprise, then, that boys often find these female-slanted programs irrelevant and boring, and may even come to think that they have no responsibility for their own sexual health or their partners’. This lack of education and expectation, coupled with the shoulder-shrugging cop-out that “boys will be boys,” carries serious repercussions. …

Studies indicate that boys are less likely than girls to seek clinical sexual health care, because they feel embarrassed and afraid to look stupid or unmanly. When they do receive medical attention, doctors are less likely to raise the issue of sexual health with them than with girls. Meanwhile, as teenage pregnancy in Canada continues to decline, sexually transmitted infections are climbing. More than two-thirds of chlamydia cases reported in this country occur among those aged fifteen to twenty-four. In the United States, the same age group accounts for nearly half of the 19 million new cases of STDs each year. This suggests that while girls are using contraception to prevent pregnancies, boys, who have more control over the use of condoms, are not wearing them consistently to prevent the spread of infections.