Gum and Scarleteen

Posted by candyposes on 14 Feb 2007 at 08:25 pm | Tagged as: Uncategorized

So, I was sitting in the Detroit airport this previous Sunday, innocently eating a hamburger, when I overhear something on CNN- something about an abstinence-only speaker in Maryland making students chew gum.

I burst out laughing.

“It was a novel class exercise: Ask a room full of Montgomery County high school students to take turns chewing the same piece of gum.To demonstrate how sexually transmitted diseases are spread, a visiting speaker invited students to share gum in health classes at four county high schools in December and last month. School officials said a total of about 100 students participated in the lessons, although some declined to chew the gum.”

Oh, more than 100 students participated in the lesson.  I know this, because I grew up in the Washington, DC area- and I participated in the lesson.  (No, I did not chew the gum).  I graduated from high school in 2003, and attended health class, where I was lectured about sex and gum, in 2001.

I’ve even blogged before about this very same speaker, and another metaphor involving tape that was used to illustrate the dangers of sex.  I forgot about the gum and the laxatives. 

“Julia said the speaker also asked for volunteers to sample squares of chocolate, one of which, they were told, was actually a laxative. The point was to illustrate the uncertainty of knowing whether one has contracted an STD after a sexual encounter. Four boys volunteered, she said.”

By coincidence, Scarleteen, the extensive sexuality and health resource for young (and not so young) people is currently kicking off a fundraiser.  Scarleteen is another topic that I’ve previously blogged about.

Growing up in the era of the internet, I found Scarleteen while looking for advice that, somehow, was not found in lessons involving gum, laxatives, and tape.

So, go show that you support giving teens information that doesn’t belittle their intelligence, and that you’re against lessons in public schools that involve sharing gum.

Because misinformation and already chewed gum are both gross. Go ahead and make a donation to Scarleteen.


Photograph by Martini, October 2006. 

One Response to “Gum and Scarleteen”

  1. on 15 Feb 2007 at 9:28 pm AF

    I totally remember scarleteen! do you remember govteen? that was an interesting website too, it really worked towards satisfying my pubescent curiosity.

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