Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Anti-Condom Message in School

Tonight my wife went to preview an educational video about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to be presented to one of our children at the local middle school here in Carrollton, Texas. It turns out that it was not an educational film but rather an electronic slideshow talk assembled by a local lady. Apparently she has been presenting this material since 1991.

My wife told me that the images of diseased genitalia in the presentation were horrific. When asked, the presenter stated that she did have a couple of students pass out after seeing the images. Some of the parents at the preview talked about hearing of students vomiting after seeing images like these in school.

The presenter also stated that condoms are ineffective against preventing virus-based STDs. She suggested that the reason condom manufacturers print on the boxes that condoms are effective against such diseases is that it would be unprofitable to state otherwise. She stated that when boys ask her about whether wearing two condoms might prevent such diseases, she tells them to ask their parents.

She provides an analogy of two people shaking hands while wearing gloves. She states that the gloves might or might not prevent infection. To be safe, she suggests, you should keep your hands tucked behind your back.

I asked my wife to revoke permission for my child to see this presentation. I am concerned that the agenda of the presentation is primarily an abstinence-only approach to disease prevention. I fear that the misstatement by the presenter that condoms are ineffective in preventing virus-based STDs might result in unwanted pregnancies and potentially lethal infections. More reliable information about the effectiveness of condoms and the ineffectiveness of abstinence-only programs is available on Wikipedia.