Monday, May 4, 2009

When the Cellphone Teaches Sex Education

via the New York Times, by Jan Hoffman


The North Carolina center permitted a New York Times reporter to read through some phone logs, after cellphone numbers and towns were redacted. The questions span the spectrum of adolescence itself, from the goofy to the ghastly. Many ask how to talk with parents about sexuality. Combining a teenager’s capacity to cut to the chase with the terseness of texting, they are often brutally direct:

“Do I love her or do I love the sex?”

“What happens if you swallow a piece of condom?”

Some questions could have been written to teen magazines 50 years ago:

“Why don’t girls like short guys?”

“how do u move yr tongue when u tongue kiss?” (“Kissing is not a science,” the reply notes. “Go at your own pace and you will figure it out.”)

But many questions vault past the basic training manual: “I like boys but I also like girls. What should I do?” (“Some people just like who they like. ... Only you can know for sure and only you know what is right for you.”)

Some reveal dangerous chasms of ignorance. Girls and boys alike ask about anal intercourse: Will it prevent pregnancy? Let a girl remain a virgin?

“If ur partner has aids,” one teenager asks, “and u have sex without a condom do u get aids the first time or not?”

Read the rest.

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