April 18, 2005

Tough questions to answer

The Anchoress notes a chilling post from parent-blogger CiderPressHill:

Last night when the lad came home, he hoisted himself onto the kitchen counter and said, “Let’s talk"...

“What’s chlamydia?” he asked. With my coffee scoop suspended in mid-air, I turned and looked at him. “This is an academic question, right?”

“Geez yes,” he said. “There’s an outbreak of it in the freshman class. A few of the girls were talking about it.” I explained that chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that both males and females can get. It’s transmitted by sexual intercourse and oral sex. It’s not something that one catches from a sneeze or a cough.

Other things that the 14-year-old girl's at this boy's school were talking about were rape lists:

“Let’s put it this way,” he said, “there are a bunch of freshman girls who have lists. They call them Rape Lists. They have a list of guys on them that they want to give beejays to. It’s like a competition. The more they can cross off the list, the hotter they are.”

And while that was sinking into my brain, he said, “I’m on a couple of those lists.”

“Oh, buddy,” I said. “That’s not good, is it?”

“Not really.”

“What happens when they don’t cross you off their list?”

“I go on their Death List,” he said.

“What does that mean?!”

“I’m dead to them. I’m a nerd. It’s a pressure thing. A lot of guys don’t want everyone to think they’re a sexual nerd.”

The Anchoress, as usual, doesn't mince words:

Why are the girls so out of control?

...if they are watching MTV and VH1 and looking at fashion magazines, or going to the movies, the role-models they’re being exposed to are (I’m sorry, but I have to say it) pigs like Paris Hilton. If they stay up past midnight, they’re watching “Girls Gone Wild” infomericals that make it look like exposing themselves and acting like sluts is the thing to do...

I don’t think it’s a good thing. I think televisions have way too much power, force and sway over our lives, our values and our reason. Turn ‘em off, say I. Then maybe a 14 year old daughter won’t have chlamydia.

Anchoress also notes that the NYTimes insists the the big picture is much more comforting. Being a statistician, I wonder quite a lot about those numbers, and I wonder about self-reported sexual behavior among teenagers. And I wonder just how they were defining "sex" or "virginity" on these surveys. Certainly, it wouldn't be contradictory for there to be a rise in the amount of casual oral sex that teenagers are having (although Brooks seems to think this isn't the case) and an increase in the number of teenagers who still consider themselves to be virgins.

How many of these so-called virgins have chlamydia, I wonder?

Posted by kswygert at April 18, 2005 01:07 PM